Children's Health Encyclopedia


Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory MMPI
Definition The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2; MMPI-A) is a written psychological assessment, or test, used to diagnose mental disorders. Purpose The MMPI is used to screen for personality and psychosocial disorders in adults (i.e., over age 18) and adolescents age 14 to 18. It is also frequently administered as part of a neuropsychological test battery to evaluate cognitive functioning. Description The original MMPI was developed at the University of Minnesota and introduced in 1942. The current standardized version for adults 18 and over, the MMPI-2, was released in 1989, with a subsequent revision of certain test elements in early 2001. The MMPI-A, a version of the inventory developed specifically for adolescents age 14 to 18, was published in 1992. The adolescent inventory is shorter than the standard adult version, was developed at a sixth-grade reading level, and is geared towards adolescent issues and personality "norms." The MMPI-A has 478 true/false items, or questions, (compared to 567 items on the MMPI-2) and takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete (compared to 60 to 90 minutes for the MMPI-2). There is also a short form of the test that is comprised of the first 350 items from the long-form MMPI-A. The questions asked on the MMPI-A are designed to evaluate the thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and behavioral traits that comprise personality. The results of the test reflect an adolescent's personality strengths and weaknesses, and may identify certain disturbances of personality (psychopathologies) or mental deficits caused by neurological problems.

There are eight validity scales and ten basic clinical or personality scales scored in the MMPI-A, and a number of supplementary scales and subscales that may be used with the test. The validity scales are used to determine whether the test results are actually valid (i.e., if the test taker was truthful, answered cooperatively and not randomly) and to assess the test taker's response style (i.e., cooperative, defensive). Each clinical scale uses a set or subset of MMPI-A questions to evaluate a specific personality trait. Some were designed to assess potential problems that are associated with adolescence, such as eating disorders, social problems, family conflicts, and alcohol or chemical dependency. Precautions The MMPI should be administered, scored, and interpreted by a qualified clinical professional trained in its use, preferably a psychologist or psychiatrist. The MMPI is only one element of psychological assessment, and should never be used as the sole basis for a diagnosis. A detailed history of the test subject and a review of psychological, medical, educational, or other relevant records are required to lay the groundwork for interpreting the results of any psychological measurement. Cultural and language differences in the test subject may affect test performance and may result in inaccurate MMPI results. The test administrator should be informed before psychological testing begins if the test taker is not fluent in English and/or has a unique cultural background. Preparation The administrator should provide the test subject with information on the nature of the test and its intended use, and complete standardized instructions for taking the MMPI (including any time limits, and information on the confidentiality of the results). The MMPI should be scored and interpreted by a trained professional. When interpreting test results for test subjects, the test administrator will review what the test evaluates, its precision in evaluation and any margins of error involved in scoring, and what the individual scores mean in the context of overall norms for the test and the background of the test subject.

Risks There are no risks involved in taking the MMPI. However, parents should try to make sure the test is properly administered, and the results evaluated appropriately, to avoid an unnecessary negative label on their child. Parental Concerns Test anxiety can have an impact on a child's performance, so parents should attempt to take the stress off their child by making sure they understand that the MMPI is not an achievement test and the child's honest answers are all that is required. Parents can also ensure that their children are well-rested on the testing day and have a nutritious meal beforehand. When interpreting test results for parents, the test administrator will review what the test evaluates, its precision in evaluation and any margins of error involved in scoring, and what the individual scores mean in the context of overall norms for the test and the background of the adolescent. See also Psychological tests. Resources Books Braaten, Ellen and Gretchen Felopulos. Straight Talk About Psychological Testing for Kids. New York: Guilford Press, 2003. Organizations American Psychological Association. Testing and Assessment Office of the Science Directorate. 750 First St., N.E., Washington, DC 20002–4242. (202)336–6000. Web site: Web Sites Pearson Assessments. The MMPI-A. Available online at: (accessed September 10, 2004). [Article by: Paula Ford-Martin]

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Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory MMPI
MMPI An inventory that includes 12 scales designed to measure the personality of abnormal subjects, but which has also been used successfully on normal subjects. The 12 scales are: 1. Hypochondriasis (Hs), 2. Depression (D), 3. Hysteria (Hy), 4. Psychopathic Deviate (Pd), 5. Masculinity-Femininity (Mf), 6. Paranoia (Pa), 7. Psychasthenia (Pt), 8. Schizophrenia (Sc), 9. Hypomania (Ma), 10. Lie (L), 11. Validity (F), 12. Correction (K). Wikipedia: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is one of the most frequently used personality tests in the mental health fields.This assessment, or test, was designed to help identify personal, social, and behavioral problems in psychiatric patients. The test helps provide relevant information to aid in problem identification, diagnosis, and treatment planning for the patient.

History and development

The original MMPI was at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and first published in 1942. The original authors of the MMPI were Starke R. Hathaway, PhD, and J. C. McKinley, MD. The MMPI is copyrighted by the University of Minnesota; therefore a fee is assessed for each use of the test. The current standardized version, the MMPI-2, was released in 1989 and is for adults 18 and over. A subsequent revision of certain test elements was published in early 2001. The MMPI-2 has 567 items or questions, all true or false in format, and usually takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete. There is a rarelyused short form of the test that comprises the MMPI-2's first 370 items. In addition, a companion test designed for adolescents, the MMPI-A, was released in 1992. A new and dramatically revised version of the test, the MMPI-2 RF, was released in 2007. However, the MMPI-2 RF produces a radically different understanding of any given individual's psychopathology compared to earlier versions of the MMPI, and lacks evidence to supports its validity. The MMPI-2 RF should therefore be viewed as experimental only until further research occurs. The original MMPI was developed using a novel (at the time) approach to test construction known as empirical keying. The big difference between this approach and other test development strategies used at the time was that it was atheoretical (not based on any particular theory) and thus the initial test was not as saturated with the prevailing psychodynamic theories as were its contemporaries. The atheoretical approach to MMPI development enabled the test to capture critical aspects of human psychopathology that have remained recognizable and meaningful as theories have changed, even to the present day. Empirical keying works by initially identifying two groups, one which possesses some key trait or outcome you wish to identify (e.g. depressed clients), and a control group of "normal" individuals who do not possess the trait. The two groups are then given the same set of questions, then any question that reliably differentiates between the groups is selected for further study, regardless of its content. Thus, if depressed clients were to respond "yes" to the statement "I like cheese pizza" significantly more often than individuals in the control group, this item would potentially be included on a scale of depression, despite the fact that the content of the item appears to have little relevance to the phenomenon of depression.

This construction method led to the inclusion of many "subtle" items on the MMPI/MMPI-2, which are thought to make the test more difficult to fake, given the items' relative lack of face validity. However, there is controversy as to whether subtleobvious items contribute to test validity. Current scale composition Clinical interpretation of the instrument centers around five general groups of scales: the validity scales, the clinical scales, the content scales, the supplemental scales, and the PSY-5 scales [citation needed]. Historically, the clinical scales have been used as the core of the interpretation, but recent trends have been moving away from these somewhat heterogeneous (i.e. measuring more than one thing) scales and towards a focus on the more homogeneous (i.e. measuring only one thing) content and supplemental scales. Furthermore, recent projects have produced alternate versions of the clinical scales known as the Restructured Clinical or RC scales. The RC scales are generally more homogeneous than their traditional counterparts, but are not simple reflections of the original clinical scales, as the pathology they assess is dramatically different than the original clinical scales and is highly redundant with the Content scales (see Graham, 2006 for a review). The validity scales are comprised of three basic types of measures: scales which are designed to detect overtly random or non-responding (CNS, VRIN, TRIN), scales designed to detect when clients are intentionally or unintentionally over reporting or exaggerating the prevalence or severity of psychological symptoms (F, Fb, Fp, Fs, FBS), and scales designed to detect when clients are intentionally or unintentionally underreporting or downplaying psychological symptoms (L, K, S). The basic clinical scales, numbered 1-9 and 0, (originally labelled: Hy, D, Hs, Pd, Mf, Pa, Pt, Sc, Ma, Si) are designed to measure common types of psychopathology. Although diagnostic schemes have changed over time, core human pathology has not; as such, the original 10 clinical scales continue to capture complex and critical dimensions of human psychopathology. As a result of the empirical keying process by which the scales were developed, many of the clinical scales measure several highly correlated symptom clusters (e.g. scale 7 [Pt]) appears to measure symptoms common to several

anxiety disorders, most notably generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder). To supplement these multidimensional scales, more unidimensional Content Scales, Supplementary Scales, and most recently the RC scales have been developed. The content scales are composed of 15 scales which directly address a specific area of pathology (i.e. Depression, Anxiety, Fears) or a known pattern of behavior which impacts the client in a direct and measurable way (i.e. Cynicism, Work Interference, Negative Treatment Indicators). These questions on these scales tend to assess areas of interest more directly, and as a result, the scales themselves tend to be more homogeneous. There have been a large number of supplementary scales created for the MMPI-2 over the years, with many falling into disuse due to a lack of necessity or general psychometric problems. Among the more frequently used supplemental scales are the substance abuse scales (MAC-R, APS, AAS), designed to assess the extent to which a client admits to or is prone to abusing substances. Also frequently used are the A and R scales, developed by Welch after factor analyzing the original MMPI item pool. Welch's first factor, A, which is a measure of general maladjustment, is similar to the new RC Demoralization scale. Other commonly used supplemental scales include measures of marital distress (MDS) and social dominance (Do) (again, see Graham, 2006 for a more complete review). Unlike the content and supplemental scales, the PSY-5 scales were not developed as a reaction to some actual or perceived shortcoming in the MMPI-2 itself, but rather as an attempt to connect the instrument with more general trend in personality psychology. The five factor model of human personality (or the OCEAN model, see also NEO-PI-R) has gained great acceptance in non-pathological populations, and the PSY-5 scales are the result of an attempt to see a similar model existed in a pathological sample. Although five scales were developed, the content of these scales differ drastically from the 5 factors identified in non-pathological populations (for a more through review, see Arnau, Handel and Archer, 2005, or see Harkness and McNulty, 1994) The five components discovered were labeled Negative Emotionality (NEGE), Psychoticism (PSYC), Introversion (INTR), Disconstraint (DISC) and Aggressiveness (AGGR).

Scoring and interpretation Like many standardized tests, scores on the various scales of the MMPI-2 are not representative of either percentile rank or how "well" or "badly" someone has done on the test. Rather, raw scores on the scales are transformed into a standardized metric known as T-scores (mean or average equals 50, standard deviation equals 10), making interpretation easier for clinicians. Individuals who are not trained in psychological assessment and scoring should not attempt to score or interpret the MMPI-2, as accurate scoring and interpretation requires knowledge of the test itself, standardized testing theory, the various subscales in combination (test profile) and correspondence of results to diagnosis. With few exceptions, the MMPI-2 should only be scored and interpreted by individuals with graduate level training in either clinical, experimental or I/O psychology, or some closely related discipline. Test manufacturers and publishers ask test purchasers to prove they are qualified to purchase the MMPI/MMPI-2 and other tests [1] The scales on the MMPI-2 are generally interpreted in the positive direction. What this means is that, while a high score on any of the Depression scales may suggest the individual is significantly more depressed than we would expect a random individual to be, a low score is not interpreted to mean the individual is significantly less depressed than the average individual. This is due in part to the wording of many of the items on the test. These items often are designed to detect the presence or absence of symptoms, and the absence of symptoms does not necessarily indicate the presence of contrary traits. As an example, it is entirely possible for a person to be relatively free of the symptoms of depression, and not be considered a particularly happy person. Furthermore, since the test was designed as a measure of psychopathology, its predictive ability tends to be much sharper when scores are high compared to when they are low. There are some scales on the MMPI-2, most notably Clinical Scales 5 (Mf) and 0 (Si) which do not follow this pattern, and where low scores are routinely interpreted. Dramatically low scores on any MMPI scale should be examined for potential meaning. Test uses Criminal justice and corrections

Evaluation of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression and schizophrenia. Identification of suitable candidates for high-risk public safety positions such as nuclear power plant workers, police officers, airline pilots, medical and psychology students, firefighters and seminary students Evaluation of armed forces' officer and NCO candidates Assessment of medical patients and design of effective treatment strategies, including chronic pain management. Evaluation of participants in substance abuse programs 1. Support for college and career counseling 2. Marriage and family counseling 3. International adoption parent screening 4. Multiple forensic uses Ethical use of psychological tests means that results must be interpreted in the context of other information about the individual, i.e., personal history, reason for assessment, the intended uses of the report about the results, who made the referral for assessment (e.g., self, family, physician, lawyer). Many of the controversies have been in situations of inappropriate test use, such as deciding the results are infallible, or can stand on their own in isolation from other information about the test taker.Psychological assessment requires the use of psychological tests, background information about the individual, clinical interviews such as a mental status examination, so as to put test results into appropriate context. This is called "test interpretation" and requires graduate level professional training. Numerous successful lawsuits have argued that giving the test to job applicants is an invasion of privacy, and that there is no evidence linking test results to job performance. There is a great amount of controversy about the extent to which third parties can publish derivative works and scoring programs. The University of Minnesota maintains an iron grip on all intellectual property rights. Others however have argued that the MMPI is actually more of a patentable construct rather than a literary or artistic work, and should have fallen into the public domain long ago. However, copyright law will

basically give the University of Minnesota indefinite control over any rights. It is quite possible that these rights could be invalidated in court, but no single entity has enough to gain from the cost associated with litigation, and a win for any one of them would open up the flood gates to competitors. MMPI-2 clinical scales There are ten main clinical scales on the MMPI-2. The names and numbers of the scales are given below. Usually psychologists will refer to the scales by number rather than name due to the obsolete nature of some names, e.g, hysteria, psychasthenia. There are many "sub scales" of these clinical scales that can also be scored, e.g., scale 2 Depression contains subscales of "subjective [feelings of] depression", "psychomotor retardation", "physical malfunctioning", "mental dullness" and "brooding. In addition to these scales and subscales, researchers have created "content scales", which assess particular issues, e.g., alcoholism, Type A personality.[2] Scale 1 — Hypochondriasis Neurotic concern over bodily functioning and the tendency to express emotional distress through physical symptoms. Scale 2 — Depression Cognitive distortions of poor morale, lack of hope in the future, and ageneral dissatisfaction with one's own life situation. High scores suggest clinical depression whilst lower scores suggest more general unhappiness with life. Scale 3 — Hysteria Hysterical reaction to stressful situations. Often have 'normal' or even happy facade and then go to pieces when faced with a 'trigger' level of stress. Women score higher. High scores suggest repressed anger and the tendency to express emotional distress through physical symptoms. Scale 4 — Psychopathic Deviate

Classic measure of psychopathy. Measures social deviation, lack of acceptance of authority, amorality, and anger. Adolescents tend to score higher. Very high scores are correlated with criminal activity, promiscuity, and interpersonally exploitative behavior. Scale 5 — Masculinity-Femininity This scale is used to measure how strongly an individual identifies with a traditional masculine or feminine role. It is also related to intelligence, education, and socioeconomic status, as the feminine component includes aesthetic interests. Measures passive vs. assertive interpersonal stance. Scale 6 — Paranoia Paranoid symptoms such as ideas of reference, feelings of persecution, grandiose self-concepts, suspiciousness, excessive sensitivity, and rigid opinions and attitudes. Scale 7 — Psychasthenia A broad measure of anxiety-related symptoms. Excessive doubts, compulsions,obsessions,and unreasonable fears, it indicates conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It also shows abnormal fears, self-criticism, difficulties in concentration, and guilt feelings. Scale 8 — Schizophrenia A broad measure of cognitive disruption and confusion, with high scores potentially indicating psychotic processes. Assesses a wide variety of content areas, including bizarre thought processes and peculiar perceptions, social alienation, poor familial relationships, difficulties in concentration and impulse control, lack of deep interests, disturbing questions of self-worth and self-identity, and sexual difficulties. Scale 9 — Hypomania Tests for elevated mood, accelerated speech and motor activity, irritability, flight of ideas, and brief periods of depression. Scale 10 — Social Introversion

Tests for a person's tendency to withdraw from social contacts and responsibilities, discomfort with others, and social anxiety. Often more than one of these clinical scales is elevated. Most common MMPI interpretation relies on extensive research into the meaning of specific sets of elevated scales. The authors also developed four Validity Scales to detect "deviant test-taking attitudes" and gauge the accuracy of the other scales. The "Cannot Say" scale. This is the simple frequency of the number of items omitted or marked both true and false. Large numbers of missing items call the scores on all other scales into question. The L scale Originally called the "Lie" scale, this was an attempt to assess naive or unsophisticated attempts by people to present themselves in an overly favorable light. These items were rationally derived rather than criterion keyed. The F scale This is a deviant, or rare response scale; and may be called the "infrequency" scale. The approach was to look at items which are rarely endorsed by normal people. If less than 10 percent of the normals endorse the item, but you do, your F count goes up. The K scale This scale was an attempt to assess more subtle distortion of response, particularly clinically defensive response. The K scale was constructed by comparing the responses of a groups of people who were known to be clinically deviant but who produced normal MMPI profiles with a group of normal people who produced normal MMPI profiles (no evidence of psychopathology in both). The K scale was subsequently used to alter scores on other MMPI scales. It was reasoned that high K people give scores on other scales which are too low. K is used to adjust the scores on other scales. K-corrected and uncorrected scores are available when the test results are interpreted. There are additional

validity scales developed via research and incorporated into computer scoring services (whether used in office or sent to a service for scoring). This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer) Donate to Wikimedia. Join the WikiAnswers Q&A community. Post a question or answer questions about "Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory" at WikiAnswers.

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