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An brief overview and critique of the MMPI-2

Emile van der Velden

on 4 January 2013

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A brief overview and critique of the MMPI-2 The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, vs. 2 What is it?
Why was it created? Critique How is it used?
Who can administer?
How much does it cost? Validity & Reliability What are they? The Ten Clinical Scales Interpreting the test Test Sample 32 items
Addresses physical complaints
Somatically preoccupied
Excessive bodily concern
Often has cynical outlook and has long-standing problems
Free of somatic preoccupation
Optimistic, sensitive, insightful
Generally effective in daily life Scale 1: Hypochondriasis (HS) HELPFUL RESOURCES: http://www.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/Productdetail.htm?Pid=MMPI-2 Pearson's Assessment Information 57 items
Measures current adjustments and morale
Poor morale, lack of hope for future, general dissatisfaction with life
Often has guilt feelings, is sluggish, lacks self-confidence
Maintains psychological distance, difficulty in making decisions
Often uncomfortable enough to be motivated toward seeking therapy
Free of tension, anxiety, guilt, and depression
Optimistic, verbally expressive, alert, active
Creates favorable first impression
Can be exhibitionistic and creating conflict with authority figures Scale 2: Depression (D) 60 items
Measures hysterical traits
Exhibits self-centeredness, immaturity, neediness, repression, denial
Reacts to stress and avoids responsibility often through development of physical symptoms like headaches and weakness
Expects attention and affection from others
Friendly, talkative, enthusiastic, alert
Often slow to gain insight
Feels unaccepted by social group
Conventional and conforming
Lacks industriousness
Difficulty trusting others
Realistic, level-headed, and logical in approach to problems
Content with dull, uneventful situations Scale 3: Hysteria (Hy) 50 items
Measures general social maladjustment and the absence of strongly pleasant experiences
Antisocial actions, impulsivity, aggression, hostility, blaming, narcissism, anger, family discord
Immediate gratification of impulses
Often creates likeable/good first impressions
Superficial relationships, shallow, sarcastic/cynical, antagonistic
Free from disabling anxiety, depression and psychotic symptoms
Conventional and conforming, accepting of authority
Submissive, unassertive, not competitive
Concerned about status and security, narrow range of interests
May become very dependent in treatment Scale 4: Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) Psych Central http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/minnesota-multiphasic-personality-inventory-mmpi/all/1/ 56 items
Measures how an individual fits their stereotypical sex role
Sensitive, passive, intelligent
Often conflicted about sexual identity
Insecure in masculine role
Aggressive, dominant, competitive, coarse, macho
Overemphasizes strength and physical prowess
Reckless, crude, vulgar
Narrow range of interests
Vigorous, adventurous, capable, ambitious
Dominating, coarse
Logical, calculated, often unemotional and unfriendly
Submissive, weak, often exhibits the "doormat" type of personality
Yielding, defers to males in decision-making
Constricted, sensitive, modest, idealistic Scale 5: Masculine/Feminine (Mf) 40 items
Measures interpersonal sensitivity and suspiciousness, especially interpersonally
Extreme elevations (T > 75)
Psychotic behavior, disturbed thinking, delusions of persecution
Resentful, angry, begrudging
Moderate elevations (T = 65 - 75)
Predisposed to paranoia, overly sensitive and responsive to others' reactions
Argumentative, rationalizing, blaming
Moralistic, rigid, poor prognosis for therapy
Mild elevations (T = 55- 65)
Kind, affectionate, generous, sentimental
Soft-hearted, peaceable, sensitive, trusting, cooperative
Wide range of interests, becomes ego-invovled in work and other activities
Poised, intelligent, fair-minded, clear, rational
Lacks self-confidence, high-strung, prone to worry
Moderately low (T = 35 - 45)
(If not a psychiatric patient and with no other evidence of maladjustment) cheerful, balaced, orderly serious, mature, reasonable, wise, decisive
Little concern for things that do not affect him/her directly
Uninsightful, lacks social interest and social poise, undependable, underachieving, touchy, angtagonistic
Extremely low (T < 35)
May have psychotic disorder, delusional, ideas of reference
Symptoms of psychosis less obvious than for high scorers
Defensive, guarded, shy, secretive Scale 6: Paranoia (Pa) 48 items
"Psychasthenia" refers to what we now know as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Intended to identify thinking manifested by worry, self doubts, compulsions, obsessions, and unreasonable fears
TRAIT vs. STATE anxiety
Turmoil, discomfort, anxious, tense, agitated, worried, apprehensive, jumpy
Feelings of insecurity and inferiority, self-conscious, perfectionistic, conscientious
Rigid, high moral standards for self and others, indecisive, full and formal
Capable, well adjusted, free of disabling fears and worries, self-confident
Wide range of interests, responsible, efficient, realistic, adaptable
Values status, success, recognition Scale 7: Psychasthenia (Pt) 78 items
Measures bizarre thoughts, peculiar perceptions, social alienation, poor familial relationships, difficulties in concentration and impulse control, lack of deep interests, disturbing question of self-worth, self-identity, and sexual difficulties.
Very High (T = 80 - 90)
Blatantly psychotic behavior, confused, disorganized, disoriented, delusions, hallucinations, poor judgment
Schizoid lifestyle, feels isolated and misunderstood
Withdrawn, shy and aloof, experiences generalized anxiety, feels inferior and incompetent
Stubborn, moody, opinionated
Friendly, cheerful, good natured, sensitive, trusting
Well-balanced, adaptable
Submissive, compliant, overly accepting of authority
Cautious, conventional, conservation
Concrete thinking, concerned about status and power Scale 8: Schizophrenia (Sc) a psychological test that assesses personality traits and psychopathology The MMPI-2 is... The MMPI-2 is intended for.... testing people who are suspected of having mental health or other clinical issues The MMPI-2 is best known as.... the personality test used in conjunction with top secret security clearances for many positions within U.S. Federal Agencies streamlined version of original test
338 of original 567 items
provides information across 51 scales
atheoretical approach The MMPI-2 History Validate insurance claims
Clinically assess major symptoms of social and personal maladjustment
Identify suitable candidates for high-risk public safety positions
Give empirical foundation for clinican's expert court testimony
Assess medical patients and design effective treatment strategies, incl. chronic pain management
Evaluate participants in substance abuse programs
Support college and career counseling
Provide insight into marriage and family counseling Uses: Licensed clinical psychologists and licensed psychological examiners
Cannot administer the test to children or adolescents Administration: Cost: between $500 - $800 L Scale:
Lie scale
15 items
Faking good or faking bad indicator
F Scale:
Infrequency scale
60 items
Indicator of unusual responding
K Scale:
Correction scale (Defensiveness scale)
30 items
Good indicator of low self-esteem or high self-esteem Internal Validity External Validity MMPI-2 enhanced, updated version of original MMPI
MMPI successful and popular since its original development
MMPI and MMPI-2 has been used as standards of construct and external validity for other psychological tests Uses plastic overlays to find raw scores
Raw scores converted to standard scores
T score = a means of 50 (SD 10)
K-scale (Correction scale) effects the conversion from raw score to T score
When scores have been converted, plot T scores on chart, connect dot to dot with line mis-aligning
selecting wrong profile template
failing to add K correction score
labeling client Common Errors in Scoring and Profiling One of the most frequently used personality tests in psychopathology
Descriptive and diagnostic information relative to today's clients
Nationally representative normative sample
Flexible administration and scoring (paper & pencil, CD recording, computer, multiple languages)
Comprehensive for both clinician and client Positives Negatives Cost prohibitive
Scores can and do often change
Test items may be objectionable to some people (questions about bodily functions, religious beliefs, family relationships, sexual practices, etc.)
Risk of misinterpretation by inexperienced examiners
Difficult to learn (be trained for) 46 items
Measures elevated mood, accelerated speech and motor activity, irritability, and enthusiasm and energy
Excessive purposeless activity, may have delusions of grandeur
Energetic, talkative, prefers thought over activity, does not carry projects through to completion
Creative, enterprising, ingenious, restless, easily bored, low frustration tolerance, manipulative
Low energy level and activity level, lethargic, listless, apathetic, difficult to motivate
Depressed, anxious, tense
Reliable, responsible, dependable, practical
Sincere, quiet, modest, humble, withdrawn, seclusive Scale 9: Hypomania (Ma) 69 items
Measures social introversion and extroversion, comfort levels in social interactions
Socially introverted, reserved, shy, retiring
Not likely to display feelings openly
Reliable, dependent, cautious, conventional, rigid
Enjoys work, tends to worry, often experiences anxiety and excessive worry
Sociable, extroverted, outgoing, gregarious, friendly
Strong need to be around other people
Interested in power and recognition, seeks out competition, problems with impulse-control Scale 0: Social Introversion (Si)
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