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History of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Essay

The assignment was to select a significant event in the development of psychological testing, such as the Chinese use of essay exams for civil service selection, the use of alpha and beta testing in World War I, Wundt’s laboratory, or the development of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). This paper will discuss the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI); explain its significance and how it has affected the development of psychological testing in the 21st century. Significance

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was published in 1940 and the second revised version was published in 1989 (MMPI-2). It is used to measure adult psychopathology and is the most commonly used measurement in the world (Drayton, 2009). The test was developed with a set of answers that healthy adults would answer and then provides indirect questions as to prevent individuals from being able to skew their answers to get a more favorable result. This allows clinicians to have an objective measure rather than basing a diagnosis off of their minimal assumptions.

The test (MMPI-2) is a self-report measure of a person’s psychological state and includes 567 items of true/false questions. According to Drayton (2009), “It has nine validity scales (or ‘lie’ scales), assessing for lying, defensiveness, faking good and faking bad and among others. These scales make it very difficult to fake the MMPI-2 results. The measure has many clinical scales assessing mental health problems (i.e. depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder), personality characteristics (i.e. psychopathy) and general personality traits such as anger, somatization, hypochondriasis, ‘type A behavior’ addiction potential, poor ego strength and many others” (p. 135).

The MMPI-2 can be used to assess major social and personal maladjustment, identify potential applicants for high-risk public safety positions as well as give the ability to support a clinician’s expert testimony. It can also assess clients in substance abuse programs and assist in selecting the most beneficial treatment methodology. With rising divorce rates, this assessment can provide valuable insight for marriage and family counseling. Lastly, this test has affected the college and career counseling sector by providing support for recommendations (Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2008) Conclusion

This paper discussed the brief history of the MMPI and the MMPI-2, what it measures and what is included in the assessment as well as the significance it has in modern culture. Included was the intended use of the assessment, the basic principles that the test contains as well as the vast modern use of the MMPI-2.


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