Minnesota Multiphasic Personality InventorySection I: General Information The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory if most often referred to as the MMPI. It was originally authored by Starke Hathaway, Ph. D. and J. Charnley McKinley, M.D. while they were working at the University of Minnesota Hospital in 1943. At that time, the primary purpose of the instrument was to assess the patient for a diagnostic label. The MMPI was quickly adopted as the most widely used personality assessment inventory in the country. It remained in that position until 1989 when it was revised significantly by S. R.
Hathaway and J. C. McKinley and that is the edition that is available today known as the MMPI-2. Much of the research for the MMP still applies to the MMPI-2. It is published by the University of Minnesota Press and distributed by NCS Assessments. To purchase and use the test, an individual must be a licensed Psychologist and show training in the interpretation of the profile (Stein, 2000). The MMPI-2 can be computer scored and a computerized interpretation is provided. The computer version interprets the test scale by scale which is not the optimal way in which to read the profile.
Seasoned veterans of interpretation always look at the trends of several scales together (Graham 1993). The MMPI-2 can be used with people who are 18 years or older and who have at least an eight grade reading ability. The second edition also has recorded copies for those who are visually impaired or are deemed to have a learning disability for which the recorded format would be better. An adolescent version, published in 1992, known as the MMPI-A is also available for ages 14 through 18.
Some Psychologist use it to the age of 12, however, the norms for this test begin at age 14 (Stein 2000). Section II: Test Description/ Test Content The MMPI-2 is a true or false test consisting of 567 questions. The first 370 questions of the test make up the standard scales in the test so the administrator can choose to have the patient stop the test at that point. The questions after 370 give information for supplementary scales which are not as widely normed, therefore, they are less reliable.
Some therapist use the results of those scales more for reference for therapy than for diagnosis. There are 13 standard scales on the test. The first six of these scales give the Psychologist information about the validity of the rest of the scores on the test. There is a scale that tell how many of the questions were unanswered. Tests with 30 or more unanswered questions cause the test to automatically be invalid. If 10 questions are unanswered the tester can proceed with caution in interpreting the rest of the test.
The rest of the validity scales include an L scale which was intended to find a deliberate attempt on the part of the patient to make themselves look good. They have found that the education level of the patient also changes this scale. People with more education seem to show more self confidence and therefore their score is higher. It is important to have this information about the patient before interpreting the profile. The K scale was included to find examinees who are attempting to deny mental health concerns or to exaggerate mental health concerns.
Again this scale is effected by educational levels. Racial differences have also been noted in this scale with African Americans often scoring about 10 points higher on this scale than other groups. There is an Fb validity scale which is to detect the test takes who appears to stop paying attention in the second half of the test. Since the test is 567 questions long this can be a problem of which the interpreter needs to be aware.
There are two validity scales known as the Vrin and the Trin which tell if the test takes has answered in a pattern line way means he/she likely did not read the questions. This would be like a long true false true pattern or an all true pattern or an all false pattern. This would render the results invalid.