Is S/he a Narcissist? Use These TESTS! (Compilation)

Uploaded 3/24/2023, approx. 1 hour 15 minute read

A rental department in Budapest is even more rare than an intelligent YouTuber.

It seems that I'm going to be stuck in Israel for much longer than I've anticipated.

I actually just gave an interview to an Israeli YouTube channel and it's going to be posted on my own channel, Tridix on now.

So here we are, wherever we are.

I'm waiting for my Hungarian exit and I'll try to do my best in my old venerated homeland of the state of Israel.

Okay, Shoshanim, which by the way is a Hebrew word.

Okay, Shoshanim, today we're going to discuss a test, a simple test to tell you whether someone is a full-fledged narcissist, can be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder or whether he's merely narcissistic.

Now Len Sperry made the distinction between narcissistic style, narcissistic disorder, Theodore Millon adopted this distinction and generally speaking narcissism, pathological narcissism is of course a spectrum.

Not every a-hole and jerk and ex-husband is a narcissist or ex-wife for that matter.

So how can we tell if someone is here to stay as a narcissist or if it's just a phase or something bad?

So the next video I'm going to post is about late onset transient narcissism, the kind of narcissism that is induced by environmental cues and by substance abuse.

But right now, let's focus on the test and I call it the three R's test.

R like the letter R, the three R's test, remorse, remediation and restoration.

Now to qualify, remorse has to be expressed repeatedly. It must be genuine and heartfelt. It should entail a modicum of sacrifice, embarrassment, inconvenience and public disclosure and exposure.

Regretting one's misdeeds in public is much more convincing than sending a private text or whispering sorry anonymously.

Sorry Mortis has to be ostentatious.

This is the first test, a full fledged narcissist would render his or her fake, feigned remorse private and fleeting.

And if you challenge that remorse or that expression of remorse, then narcissist will become aggressive.

Someone who is not a full fledged narcissist, albeit may have narcissistic traits but cannot be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and definitely healthy people, normal people, their remorse is long lasting and they are not ashamed to express it in front of others.

This is test number one, R number one.

R two, remediation.

Remediation requires making amends, offering reparations. Reparations which are commensurate with the offending acts, reparations that bear some symbolic relation to them and are proportional.

And so financial abuse, for example, can be absorbed only with the aid of monetary compensation that corresponds to the damage done and suffered.


And a typical narcissist would minimize his wrongdoing and therefore offer the kind of remediation which is ineffective.

Even I would say insulting.

If at all, many narcissists would deny any wrongdoing and would just not offer remediation.

On the very contrary, they would pose as victims.

If you want to tell the difference between someone who is a full fledged narcissist and someone who is not, remediation and remorse are key issues.

Long lasting publicly expressed remorse coupled with an offer of compensation, reparation, what the Germans call gutmakl, making it good again.

And finally, restoration.

The third R.

Restoration involves affording one's victims the opportunity for closure, if not forgiveness, so that they can move on with their lives.

Now in many court processes and judicial processes, there's something called victim impact statement.

The aim is to provide closure. The victim, if alive, can make the statement or members of the family of the victim.

And so restoration, giving the victim the opportunity to go through the abuse, understand it more deeply and if possible, forgive and move on.

Most narcissists, if not all narcissists, people who are full fledged narcissists would never give you closure, would never allow you to process the abuse. Would never collude, collaborate with you, I'm sorry, in providing restoration. They would deny the abuse or cast themselves as victims. All other people usually would listen to you and perfectly and try to put themselves in your shoes and offer you a modicum of solace and support and help and so on and so forth, even if you accuse them of doing something.

So these are the three R's, true narcissists and true psychopaths.

They fail the three R's test at every turn.

Their remorse is feigned. They provide little or no recompense and they never put themselves at the victim's disposal and in her shoes in order to allow her to achieve what she needs most.

To measure a restored sense of justice and the ability to trust again.

What are you doing here? Why aren't you going out to socialize, to have one night stands, to drink yourself to oblivion in obscure bars and pubs whose names you will not remember the next morning? Why don't you play video games for an average of four and a half hours a day, latest data? Why don't you, I don't know, watch reruns, stuff yourself with popcorn?

Ah, there's a pandemic out there. That's the reason.

Well, in this case, lovely people. I'm the next best option.

And today I'm going to discuss two instruments, two tools.

They are very rough and tumble. They're very rule of thumb heuristics. They're not tested. They're not peer reviewed. They're not vetted.

But they rely on a database of 1,791 people diagnosed by mental health practitioners, not by their spouses and angry children diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and their family members, a total of several million data points.

So using the most rigorous statistical methods, I keep analyzing this database, which I've accumulated over the past 23 years. And I keep coming up with surprising answers. And based on these surprising answers, I am now trying to construct a series of tools, psychological tests and other tools with internal validation.

In other words, tools that the database itself validates.

Now, of course, the database is flawed. It is self-selecting. It's not representative. It's composed only of people with the extreme form of narcissism and their suffering family members. It's all true.

But still, it's by far, by far, the largest corpus, the largest body of knowledge about this disorder. Just for you to have a basis for comparison, the biggest tests ever conducted, biggest experiments, biggest studies ever conducted, involved anywhere between 24 and 100 people diagnosed with narcissism. That's it.

So I think I have what to contribute.

And today I'm going to discuss two rough instruments, raw instruments, that I'm working with, which might be of interest, definitely of interest to narcissists. And of some interest to people who are forced to live or collaborate or work with narcissists, looking from the outside.

So the first tool is what I call the HERS, the heartbreak and recovery scale.

It's actually a tool to gauge mortification.

You remember mortification and if you don't, I recommend and advise to search for mortification on my channel.

By the way, my channel, the YouTube channel is searchable. There is a magnifying glass symbol and you can click on it and search the channel for relevant videos. You can search by title, you can search by keyword and so on.

So there are about four, if I recall correctly, videos dedicated to mortification.

Now just to remind you what is mortification.

Mortification is a state of mind of the narcissist induced by an extreme challenge or injury to his self image, the way he sees himself. Or the way he sees himself as a pronounced component of grandiosity.

So that is challenge and undermined in a process of mortification.

But there are also other components.

For example, egosyntony, the narcissist feels good with himself. Some narcissists even convince themselves they are good people.

And so any challenge to the self image and self perception of the narcissist that is sufficiently abrupt, sufficiently strong to penetrate his defenses can cause mortification by forcing the narcissist to see himself as other people see him.

As then he cannot escape. It becomes inescapable, cannot escape himself.

He sees himself as a creep, as a monster, as an abuser, as a bad guy and he can't cope with it, he can't tolerate it.

So he decompensates, disintegrates and very often acts out or develops clinical depression, etc.

I discussed all this in the previous videos.

And to remind you, mortification is caused by, in most cases, in romantic relationships, mortification is caused by substituting another man for the narcissist in a new shared fantasy.

This tends to cause mortification and exit from the shared fantasy by the romantic or intimate partner and shifting all the blame and responsibility to the narcissist, especially if such a shift is merited.

These are the three components that lead to what we call external mortification of the narcissist.

And I've designed a tool which could tell the narcissist to what extent he's mortified.

This tool also predicts how long will it take the narcissist to recover from a traumatic breakup or from infidelity by his cherished partner.

This tool also predicts if the narcissist will be able to remain friends with the cherished partner or will try to hoover her or will he go no contact.

And finally, this tool is useful in predicting will the nice narcissist try again, hoovering, aforementioned hoovering, will he try again but seriously, will he try to reestablish the shared fantasy, will he give the intimate partner a second chance at relationship recovery.

So the instrument which I again, I call the instrument heartbreak and recovery scale, health.

The instrument has six questions and each of these questions, you know, you need to answer yes or no.

If it's a no, it's a zero.

If it's a yes, it's a one.

So the first question is, did what she or he, I'm going to use she, but of course it applies also to male intimate partners or female narcissists.

So in this case, we are talking about female intimate partners or male narcissists, but there is no gender prejudice here. It's simply for convenience sake.

So the first question is, did what she do come as a shock to you? Or was it predictable, the culmination of a visible evident process?

If the answer is yes, it came as a shock, give yourself one point.

If the answer is no, I saw it coming, give yourself zero.

Number two, question number two, did she humiliate you in the process, especially in public and in front of your peers?

If the answer is yes, one, the answer is no, zero.

Number three, did you react with anger or even rage that just wouldn't go away even after the event?

Yes or no.

Number four, following the events which led to the mortification.

Were you desperate? Were you in the throes of catastrophizing? Did you say to yourself, I will never find someone to replace her? Or did you have negative automatic thoughts? I'm always failing my relationships. I'm a monster. I made it happen, etc.

Did you have all this?

And this is called internal mortification.

If you had any of these thoughts, give yourself one.

If you didn't, give yourself zero.

Question number five, in the aftermath, did you experience profound sadness, dysphoria, and did nothing give you pleasure?

You couldn't find pleasure in anything. It's called anhedonia.

If you experience dysphoria or depression and nothing gave you pleasure after the event, in the aftermath of the event, give yourself one.

If everything was okay, a week or two or three later, give yourself zero.

And finally, the last question, in the wake of the dissolution of the bond, did you feel excruciating pain, overwhelming romantic jealousy, or pathological envy?

Any of these?

If the answer is yes, one, no zero.

Now, if you scored in this test two to three, it is improbable that you will ever be in touch with that traumatizing person again, with the former intimate partner.

If you scored four, it usually prefaces, predicts, and foresees a new phase of mere friendship or companionship between the two of you, but no re-establishment, no reconstituting the shared fantasy, nor romance.

Just transition to another form of relationship.

And if you scored five or six, this usually would lead to frenzied, although doomed, attempts to restore the relationship to its former romantic self, to reconstitute the shared fantasy.

And I explained why narcissists try to reconstitute the shared fantasy in another video.

They're trying to replace external mortification with internal mortification or another external mortification.

It's the only way they can survive.

But at any rate, this tool gives you from an analysis of our, of my database, this tool gives you very, very accurate prediction.

The sensitivity is about 98%, and the specificity is well over 95%.

In other words, prediction is iron-clad.

And I'll summarize it again.

If you scored two to three, you will never be in touch with me.

If you scored four, after some time, you will make contact, you will try to hoover her, but not as a romantic part, usually as a friend, as a companion friend with benefits.

If you scored five or six, you will be hysterical.

You will be in panic.

You will be driven.

You will be compulsive, trying to reestablish the shared fantasy with her, trying to hoover her, to scoop her back, to brainwash her again, to addict her, to condition her, to be again your intimate romantic partner in order to resolve actually the mortification.

Now the second instrument that I've designed, I've designed quite a few dozen actually. I'm going to introduce them gradually over time.

The second instrument that I would like to discuss today is what I call the S1-S2 score.

S1 is promiscuity, and S2 is self-efficacy.

Now let me explain what is promiscuity and what is self-efficacy.

Promiscuity is indiscriminately engaging in sex with partners almost regardless of their qualities, traits, behaviors, and profile.

Self-efficacy is the ability to induce beneficial outcomes in the environment and in your life through your efforts.

By exerting yourself, by investing, by working hard, you succeed to obtain results. You succeed to accomplish things.

The more you succeed, the more self-efficacious you are.

You then have agency over your life.

So these are the two parameters, promiscuity and self-efficacy.

When I say promiscuity, I'm referring to someone.

And again, I'm going to use the female pronoun, but it equally applies to the male pronoun.

Right now there are excellent reasons to believe there are equal numbers of narcissists among men and women as opposed to 20 years ago.

Narcissism has risen dramatically. This has been a tsunami wave of narcissism among women.

So I'm going to use the female voice, but it's just for convenience sake.

Promiscuity is sleeping with multiple partners simultaneously, engaging in group sex, engaging in casual sex habitually as a habit or as the main form of sex, serial cheating on a dedicated intimate partner in a primary relationship.

So for example, cheating on your husband. Group sex with relatives, or sex with relatives, including incest. Sex with age inappropriate partners, very old man, very young.

Casual sex with strangers in unusual impersonal settings. Rape.

Sexual acts and teasing. Sex while drunk or while high or while stoned or while wasted. Habitually again, not as a one off, but as a habit.

And sexting as a habit.

All these things are strong indicators and components, ingredients of promiscuity.

So this is promiscuity.

I found out from analyzing my database that there are five traits of a potential source of supply which rendered the source of supply irresistible to the narcissist.

If the potential source of supply has these five traits in varying degrees, she becomes a natural as a source of supply.

So promiscuity is number one.

It seems it seems that lots of these react very powerfully to promiscuity.

Number two, self trashing.

Narcissists are attracted very strongly, almost irresistibly to women who self trash.

When I say self trash, engage in reckless behaviors, self damaging, self defeating and self destructive behaviors as a form of self punishment, as a form of self devaluation, self degradation and self disappointing.

That attracts the narcissist a lot.

The next thing that seems to be a determinant and a predictor, a prognosticator of attraction is disclosure.

So the more open the future partner about her promiscuity and self trashing, the more the narcissist is going to be attracted, irresistibly, inexorably and at the same time develop severe abandonment anxiety, feel pain, feel a lot of pain and react with desperate attempts to reestablish object constancy.

So if the woman is promiscuous, self trashing and talks openly about it, this trifecta is almost guarantees that the narcissist will gravitate towards such a partner and will try to acquire her, to make her his, to possess her and to convert her and transform her into his partner, his intimate partner in the shared fantasy.

The next two components are diametrically opposed to the first three in many ways.

First of all, the level of organization of the personality, a high level of organization, the higher the level of organization of personality, the more the narcissist is attracted.

Now it usually doesn't go together. A high level of organization of personality sits ill, doesn't usually go with self trashing or promiscuity.

Women who self trash and are promiscuous and especially if they're proud of it are usually women with very low self esteem, lay by the woods and dysregulated emotions.

This is for example, a typical profile of a woman with borderline personality disorder or even histrionic personality disorder, hyper dysregulated emotionality.

But if the narcissist finds this unicorn, a promiscuous self trashing woman whose personality is highly organized and they do exist by the way, whose personality is highly organized, that renders her as I just said, a unicorn.

And finally, self efficacy.

A high self efficacy is again, very attractive to the narcissist. Something that draws him in, in a way that he cannot resist, does not want to resist.

Put the five together, promiscuity, self trashing, full proud disclosure, high organization of personality and high self efficacy.

And you get the ideal profile of a partner in the shared fantasy.

Of course, the narcissist never finds this profile in his totality. He compromises, he finds three out of five elements. He's good enough, finds four, wonderful.

But if he finds five, this is going to be the woman of his life.

Why is that?

And we try to understand the psychodynamic background to this bizarre concoction of traits and behaviors.

Well, first of all, you do remember that narcissists are subject to Madonna whore, a Madonna whore complex.

They divide all women into Madonnas, asexual Madonnas, sexless Madonnas, saints, women with whom they can develop a business, establish a family, do many things together, be great companions, but no sex. They will not have sex with them because sex is defiling, self is despoiling, self is degrading and you don't do this to a saint or to a Madonna or to your truly intimate partner in life.

So there's Madonna and then there's whore.

Whore are all the other women, the women who are legitimate sex objects. The women who can be subjected to sadistic, dismantling, despoiling, degrading, demeaning, debasing by the narcissist, the only type of sex he knows, kinky, but with humiliation, with a pronounced element of humiliating the woman.

And they're all these other women.

So the promiscuity and self trashing elements that we mentioned before, and especially if the woman is proud of these things. They indicate, they're strong indicators of a whore, of exactly the type of woman who would constitute a legitimate sex object in the narcissist's mind.

It's like a red light goes on.

Yeah, she is the one. She is the prostitute. She is the woman who would allow me, who would let me do anything to her. She will not resist or object or reject me. Nevermind what I do to her. Nevermind how I humiliate her. Nevermind how I despoil her, cause her pain, etc.

The sadistic element.

And so these are the indicators of this.

And then the personality organization and the self-efficacy. Their hallmarks of a mother.

Members are highly organized, well supposed to be highly organized. They are highly self efficacious. They obtain results. They accomplish things. They are the safe base of the child. The child feels that the mother is a pillar. She's a foundation. She's stable. She's always there. She's safe. She's protective.

So a high personality organization, high self-efficacy, a mother-like element. And like elements.

So the Madonna horror complex causes the narcissists to look for the impossible.

A woman who on one hand is a playmate. A playmate in the whorish sense, in the sexual sense. Promiscuous. Self-trashing. Open to submissiveness. Open to sadism. Open to kink. Open to humiliation.

And on the other hand, he wants in the same woman to have strong personality traits.

Entrepreneurship. Go get her. Daredevil. Self efficacious. Gives what she wants. Goes for it.

As a high personality organization. Stable. Strong. Cool headed. Etc.

And he wants this combination.

Now believe it or not. This combination does exist.

And the narcissist spends most of his life looking for exactly this kind of woman. And when he finds her, his infatuation is limitless. Is limitless.

And the subsequent shared fantasy is full substitute for reality. He then totally migrates from reality into the shared fantasy. And when he's inevitably mortified, because this kind of woman is likely to cheat on him, likely to betray him, likely to finally discard him and abandon him, having realized who he is.

So the end of such a shared fantasy is a massive, usually not always, a massive mortification.

And remember, mortification is caused by when the woman migrates to another shared fantasy with another man, exiting the shared fantasy with the narcissist.

But she must also blame the narcissist for her transition, blame him for her cheating, for her abandonment, for dumping him, transfer all the responsibility to him, make him feel bad about himself.

If she only does the first two, if she transitions to a shared fantasy with another man and exits a fantasy with the narcissist, but takes responsibility, blame, guilt and shame upon herself, exempting the narcissist, exonerating the narcissist, there will not be mortification.

So these are two tools that narcissists can use at their leisure and pleasure, nothing much to do during this pandemic.

And I hope they will derive some insights, although that's a very tall order when it comes to narcissists.

The next video I'm going to make is in response to a series of questions I've received about how I'm coping during this pandemic.

What's my inner landscape? How do I feel?

And so, so stay with us for the next episode.

Today we are going to discuss one of the most widely used and one of the most thoughtfully contested personality assessment tests.

It's everywhere. It is used by corporations. It is used by individuals. It's available online. You can do it with pencil and pen. You can do it by clicking your mouse.

It has three versions.

One of them contains 93 or 94 questions. The European version is 88 questions. One of them, the second level, is 144 questions. And the last level, level three, is 228 questions or 288 questions, depending on the variant.

And it is by far, by far, the most well-known personality assessment tests in the world.

And yet, it is a cause for controversy and harsh criticism by all the major experts, psychometric experts.

Actually, one of the words leading psychometric specialists, his name was Robert Hogan, wrote in 2007, "Most personality psychologists regard the MBTI as little more than an elaborate Chinese fortune cookie."

Now, that's as bad as it gets when it comes to scholarly criticism.

MBTI, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is the topic of our lecture today.

Mind you, this is a literature review. This is not an analysis of the test itself.

If you want an analysis of the test itself, go online. There's a lot of material.

Start with Wikipedia. The article has quite a few factual errors, but the overall thrust of the article is pretty accurate.

The most important study regarding MBTI had actually been conducted almost 20 years ago in 2002.

Robert and Mary Capreiro, published a meta-analysis comprising thousands or hundreds of studies regarding the MBTI.

And surprisingly, it came out pretty positive.

Their study was published in Educational and Psychological Measurement 2002.

Most of my talk today is based on the latest edition, 2020 edition, of the Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, published by Springer. That was last year.

In this encyclopedia, there are several entries dedicated to MBTI. One of them is written by Scott P. Kinde and Brittany Mason, and the other one is written by the one and only Fernhum. I think his first name is Adrian, if I remember correctly. Yes, Adrian Fernhum.

Now, the Myers-Briggs.

It has an amazing history. I'll give it just a hint. It involves a whodunit. It involves a crime novel. It involves a feminist. It involves a mother and a daughter. It involves secret machinations in World War II. It reads like an Agatha Christie thing. It borrows from the writings of a psychotic Swiss psychologist, but then builds upon it in a way that the psychologist, the Swiss psychologist himself, Carl Jung, or Faehman, had rejected the MBTI.

Actually, the MBTI had been invented before. The author of the MBTI realized that Jung had his own type theory.

She first came up with a theory of four types of people, and then one year later, Jung's book had been translated to English, and when she had read it, she dumped her own theory and adopted his.

It's an amazing history. It deserves a movie, if you ask me, and I strongly recommend that you go online and find everything about it.

So the Myers-Briggs indicator is based on Jung. It's actually an inventory, and as I said, it comprises various forced-choice questions.

Now, you remember from the previous semester that a forced-choice question is a question where you are forced to choose an answer.

And in a minute, I will go into details.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and I'm your professor of psychology.

This is part of Unit 5.

Don't get confused. And don't complain to me how hard it is to study via video lectures. It's as hard on your poor professor who has to record these lectures and research them a bit in advance.

So we are all in it together. The pandemic is not pleasant or conducive to learning for any of us.

OK, Bobot.

Now, the test has eight factors and four dimensions. Put them together, you get four dichotomies, four pairs or pairings.

Controversy versus extroversion, sensation versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, judging versus perceiving.

Once you have answered all the questions, you are classified into one of 16 personality types based on the largest score that you had obtained in each of these scales.

So for example, if you score higher on introversion and intuition and feeling and judging, you will be classified as introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging, or IIFJ.

Get it? Very simple. Your four highest scores, the first letters are your type.

Now, the test provides scores on each dimension. And these are usually cut off scores.

So the extroversion introversion, for example, dimension has a normal distribution with high scores considered extroverted and low scores considered introverted.

And it is because of its simplicity and because of its intuitive appeal, because Jung touched upon our common sense view of other people and how we experience ourselves.

His type theory is very down to earth as opposed to most of his other writings. And so it was easily translatable into a test, which is today the world's largest used test, I mean, most widely used and known test in the world.

Many millions of people take it every single year. The estimate is about 5 million. And it has been translated into almost 30 languages.

In 1985, a guy by the name of DeVito, not the actor, described the MBTI as probably the most widely used instrument for nonpsychiatric populations in the area of clinical counseling and personality testing.

But is a popular test also valid?

Is the fact that the test is popular, does it prove that it's valid?

For example, we use astrology, zodiac signs. And zodiac sign is actually a personality type.

Could we say that astrology is a personality assessment tool, that it is valid, that it has any relevance, that it's reliable?

Most the overwhelming vast majority of scholars would find the idea extremely funny.

Now, popularity has to do with marketing, but does it have to do with psychometric excellence?

You heard Hogan, he says that's a fortune cookie, the MBTI.

Do I agree with him? Do you agree with him?

Do others agree with him?

We're going to review all the literature, well, most of the literature until very recently.

We're going to try to make sense of what qualified people, people who are into the study of psychological tests, psychological structured interviews, psychometric psychology.

What do these people think?

So we said that MBTI is based on Jungian theory, and we said that it's a fourth dimensional model.

You could say even four-factor model, and that four letters represent a particular type.

The TI in MBTI stands, as you remember, for type indicator.

And types are categories of membership.

And the thing is that they are discontinuous.

If you have a certain type, you can't be another type.

So it's like dividing all of humanity into 16 gigantic drawers.

And if you're in one drawer, you can never exit the cupboard and move to another drawer.

One of the problems with the MBTI is if you take it a few years apart, your type changes.

That's a fact.

I tried it on myself.

I've asked many other people, and it's documented in the literature.

And so it casts a great doubt on the reliability of the MBTI, unless we assume that people change fundamentally within two years, which is a very difficult assumption to make and seems to be both counterintuitive and counterfactual.

In trait theories, most trait theories, including factor models like the five-factor model, people are on a continuum. They're on a spectrum. They're somewhere on a range.

We don't say that people are either or. We say that people are mildly like this or mostly like this. We place them on a kind of visualized range.

The theorists, the theoreticians of traits, they see the difference between individuals quantitatively, not qualitatively. They don't have a dichotomous view. A dichotomous view typifies infantile defense mechanisms like splitting.

When we think in an infantile, immature way about other people, we say, "He is all bad. He is all good." And that's not applicable to any human being except me, of course.

Now, typological theory suggests a discontinuity between similar behaviors.

So typologies like Jung's and like many others contrast and contradict with trait theories.

There's a fight to the death, conceptual death, between trait theories and typology theories.

Trait theories believe that on all variables, there is a continuum that cut off into types is arbitrary. It's also wrong or it follows some cultural or societal conventions or even gender bias.

Type concepts are now completely out of date.

There's a debate between psychologists and psychiatrists, for example, regarding personality disorders.

While the entire stream, scholarly stream of psychology and so on, goes towards a dimensional approach.

Watch my previous video made today about the differences between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases.

To start with, the MBTI is in trouble. It's in hot water because it purports, it attempts to divide all the variety and diversity of humanity into 16 groups, which raises a few eyebrows, mine included, admittedly.

And so let's try to delve deeper into the philosophy.

Myers and McCaulley in 1985 developed the variant of the MBTI that we use today. And they suggested that four personal preferences affect how people believe in all the situations.

So they're the ones who actually introduce the four scales, the four pairings, the four dichotomies that I had mentioned before.

I remind you, extraversion, introversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, judging, perceiving. Each individual belongs to an opposite on this scale. You can't be in the middle. You can't be a bit thinking and a bit feeling.

But of course we know that most people are a bit thinking and a bit feeling.

Still, you have to choose one.

I mean, the test actually forces you to choose one.

You're at the pole, at an end of each of these. You're at this, you're not that. You're that, you're never this.

So according to the manual published in 1985 at the time, extroverts relate more easily to the outer world of people and things.

Introverts, the main interests of introverts are in the inner world of concepts and ideas.

Sensing and intuitions, intuition are ways of perceiving.

Sensing is through the five senses. That's why we say sensing.

And through known facts. While intuition is more unconscious, it looks for possibilities, interconnectivities, relationships. It's a kind of an unconscious network approach.

And the two ways of judging are summed up by the opposites of thinking, which stresses logic in personal processes, computer-like, and feeling, which is based on personal values and personal judgments.

The final dimension is combination of perception and judgment.

Perceiving types show preference for planned, decided, orderly way of life. They are into Jung, Peterson, Oder, Starktru, Odnung Mossein.

And the perceiving type is more flexible, more spontaneous.

According to McCray and Costa, McCrae, MCB, and Costa is simply Costa.

In 1988, the MBTI is pretty unusual, actually. It's an unusual personality assessment test.

And for three reasons.

Number one, it is based on classic psychoanalytic theory, Jung's, which is an extinct species in today's academia. We don't teach Freud. We don't teach psychoanalysis. And we don't teach psychoanalytic theories or psychoanalytic psychodynamic theories. They are per se. They are not science.

We, I mean, psychology is a science. These are pseudoscience. They are forms of literature pretending to be a science.

Now we do experiments. Now we work in a lab. Now we wear white coats and we call ourselves doctors.

So it's not nice to recall the origins, the dirty origins, the occult and esoteric origins of your profession.

And the MBTI does this shamelessly. It admits, I come from Jung. Same thing.

The MBTI is supposed to measure types, not traits of continuous variables, as we just said.

And finally, it is widely used to explain individuals' personality characteristics, not only to professionals, but also to the individuals themselves, to coworkers, to friends, to families, to intimate partners.

In other words, it's an accessible assessment tool, which between you and me is bad for business because the more we maintain a monopoly through arcane language, the more we license tests, the more money we make.

And if there is any group, any group that is avaricious and greedy, it's psychologists and psychotherapists.

Trust you, me. I'm one of them.

Now the MBTI has evolved since then and there are numerous studies, etc.

There are journals, there are institutes, you name it, it in this sense resembles a bit Scientology.

Now, many studies over the years try to find the location of MBTI within the personality factor space because there are many theories and models, factor models, models which try to isolate factors that when they are put together, create the personality.

So Saggino and Klein in 1996, they try to find correlations between MBTI and Cattel's 16 personality factors and Iseng's personality questionnaire to other tests, personality assessment tests.

And then so they made factor analysis and it yielded five factors in MBTI, not the four that everyone uses.

They argued that the EI dimension is clear, but the TF dimension is not sufficiently pure because it loads on different factors.

McCrae and Koezin in 1988 found that the four MBTI indices that measure aspects of four of the big five dimensional personality do it well.

They found that EI was correlated with extraversion, SN was correlated with openness, TF with agreeableness and JP with conscientiousness.

JP is of course, Jordan Peterson.

Now, Fanham, I like Peterson, Collett, Fanham in 1996 also provided evidence supporting exactly these results, but he found neuroticism to be correlated to both EI and TF.

And Fanham had invested a lot of work over the years in trying to study the MBTI because I think like me, he intuitively felt, he couldn't of course prove it immediately, but he intuitively felt that the MBTI is very powerful somehow, somehow his power captures something.

And so he went really deep and he looked for example at the correlations between MBTI scales and the 30 sub factors of the five factor model.

And he found high correlations between EI and gregariousness, warmth and positive emotions.

In other words, extraversion between SN and introversion and fantasy and aesthetics.

In other words, openness between TF and tender mindedness and trust and altruism.

In other words, agreeableness and between JP and order, of course, and deliberation and self-discipline.

There are studies, except for Fanham, there are studies that try to look at the interrelated relationship or the correlation or whatever you want to call it, the mapping, the possible mapping of MBTI into other tastes like for example, the fundamental interpersonal relations, orientation, behavior and intelligence tastes.

So there's a lot of work done and some pretty recent work investigated the relationship between dark side personality disorder traits, dark triads and dark tetraads.

Dark triad is dark triad plus borderline.

So they studied the correlation between dark triad, which is Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, and the MBTI.

And there was Fanham and Crump in 2014, not long ago.

And for 40 years, we have a literature which is like 40 years old.

Carlin in 1977, for example, he concluded that MBTI is adequately reliable and that the scales of MBTI seem to be, I quote, "relatively independent of each other."

She noted that the tests seem to be measuring dimensions of personality quite similar to those postulated by Jung himself, despite Jung's objection.

I mean, who are you, Jung, to know what you had written?


Carlin concluded, she concluded that up to the content of MBTI was predictive and that construct validity of the scales suggests that it is, and I quote from her work, "a reasonably valid instrument which is potentially useful for a variety of purposes."

Not bad.

Fast forward 16 years, Murray in 1990 was equally positive.

He said that the test, I quote again, "has been extensively investigated and has met successfully most challenges to each rationale, test procedures, and test results.

There was a debate in a business magazine.

Case and Phillipson said that the MBTI is based on Jung's theory, which is, by the way, not entirely true.

It deviates considerably from Jung's theory, which is why Jung disowned the MBTI.

Never mind.

In the debate, Case and Phillipson said that MBTI is based on Jung, and Jung's theory, they said, is rubbish because it includes cosmology, symbolism, astrology, alchemy, UFOs, the occult, and what have you.

It's true that Jung had written a lot of trash and nonsense, and most of his late work is absolute trash.

But it's also true that Jung was a giant in psychology.

I compare it to Wilhelm Reich, for example.

Reich was a giant at the beginning, and then he went a little cuckoo.

So Jung started as cuckoo.

He had five years of psychosis, but he ended up being a giant of psychology to discard the baby with the bathwater to throw out all of Jung's work, because he had dabbled in astrology and UFOs, is how to put it gently, unwise.

Doze, in 2004, said that it's not really important whether the MBTI is valid or not valid.

I mean, the validity in reliability and internal consistency and external consistency and all these measures that we use in order to decide if an assessment test is useful or not.

He said, well, let's put this aside for a minute.

Great ideas. Great breakthroughs, he said.

Sometimes come through intuition, inspiration, introspection, and other non-rational sources.

The attacks on the categorical classification of the MBTI, says Doze, strikes at the very heart of any attempt to type measure and any measure of type, any attempt to create typologies of humans.

Arnaud, in 2003, he studied three Jungian personality measures. He studied the MBTI and two other measures.

Arnaud and his colleagues noted that an individual with just slight preference is classified in the same category as one with a strong preference.

So they touched upon a real weakness in the MBTI, the fact that it's not dimensional, it's not a spectrum, it's a cutoff.

So you could be at the border, at the boundary of the cutoff, and then there's another guy who is like 10 times worse than you, and you're both the same type.

And something's wrong with that, of course.

And so they made something called taxometric study, a bootstrapping taxometric study, and they wanted to determine whether the Jungian preferences actually exist as dichotomies, or whether these Jungian preferences, you know, extroversion, introversion, and so on, are actually a continuum. They're a set of continua.

And so when we artificially dichotomize, when we create types by force, we're actually losing a lot of valuable information about people.

And so they made this analysis, which is one of the cleverest pieces of work in modern psychology.

They made this analysis, and they came to the conclusion that the analysis does not support the categorical, strictly Jungian position.

It's not appropriate to say you're either this or not. You're either this or this, because people are not, never either this or this. They're usually somewhere in the middle, or they are some mixture, or they are partly this and partly that.

And yes, there's always a situation where one trait is dominant and the other is less so.

But you can't deny the other just because it is less so.

And so it is more appropriate, they said, and more informative to give people a score on a dimension.

McCray and Costa, they aforementioned McCray and Costa, they criticized the MBTI, and they said that their data suggests that Jung's theory is either incorrect or inadequately operationalized by the MBTI and cannot provide a sound basis for interpreting the theory, for interpreting the MBTI.

Because it's an important study of MBTI, McCray and Costa, I'll go a bit deeper into it.

They had a few criticisms.

They said that if you read Jung, you find many of his descriptions concern the unconscious life of an individual, not directly accessible to self-reporting.

So really Jungians often question MBTI, because they say a lot goes on in the unconscious and people can't report this accurately and genuinely and truthfully in a test because they are not aware of what's happening in their unconscious.

And only what happens in the unconscious matters, not what is in the conscious.

The second criticism is that Jung's descriptions of the types, the types of personalities, include traits that we know today empirically do not covariate.

The third criticism is that the MBTI includes a scale, the JP scale, of course, that is not part of Jung's theory. So it deviates considerably from Jung.

The next criticism is that the measurement identifies people in terms of dominant functions.

And so the measurement dichotomizes preference scores. People are assumed to fit into mutually exclusive groups, but the scores, when they are plotted out, they are not bimodally distributed. In other words, the score are in a range. They are never here or there. There's no here or there. The scores are always on a range.

And the next criticism is that empirical evidence that there are interactions as well as main effects for the types which follows the description of the types, this empirical evidence is lacking.

Essentially the questionnaire fails, they say essentially the questionnaire fails to measure neuroticism.

Because they argue that people who use the MBTI should seriously consider abandoning Jungian theory and some of its associated language. And so it seems that the classification system of MBTI misclassifies people because it puts them at or near the cutting point, far from the cutting point. People who are at the cutting point or near the cutting point fall between the cracks. They're assigned to this end of that pole and they don't belong to either because they are in the middle. The middle people.

And so the classification system fails to note the larger differences within each type.

Over the years, there are assessments and critiques of the MBTI and Jungian theory which are based on this.

And it's really a problem. It doesn't capture nuances. It doesn't capture subtleties.

It's like the MBTI is like infantile splitting defense mechanism or borderline splitting defense mechanism writ large. Everyone is either or. You're all good, you're all bad, you're all stupid, you're all clever, you're all this, you're all that, you're all extroverted, you're all introverted, you're all feeling, you're all thinking.

Why? Where is that? That's an idealized view of a possible human being.

But this kind of human being does not exist. And practitioners of MBTI say the test was not designed for selection at work.

They argue that both internal and external reliability would not qualify the test to be used in a workplace because the minimum status in a workplace are actually very high. The insulative nature of the test means in essence that people are measured against themselves and the bipolar conception assumes the traits are opposites.

So where are we with all this?

If you ask people which personality tests they've heard of, they would say MBTI or Eniagram. You know Eniagram 9. If you ask people which personality tests online have you done, they would say MBTI by far. So MBTI is the name of the game for most people. And many people will tell you it's useful, it's accurate.

But many people will tell you that astrology is useful or accurate. Or fortune telling, reading tea leaves or coffee grounds is accurate and useful. Accuracy and usefulness as reported by test subjects means zeilge. Look it up.

So one of the most attractive features is the message that what you are is okay.

You don't need to feel bad because you belong in one sixteenth of humanity.

In other words you are not alone.

And this is no doubt due to the fact that it does not measure one of the key factors of personality.

Neuroticism, low adjustment, negative affectivity.

The doldrums, the doldrums, this is not in the test.

The test is extremely optimistic.

It's like all people are healthy.

Now let's divide you in 16 groups.

But of course it's a wrong assumption.

Something like 15%, 1.5% of people have personality disorders. 34% of today's population have depression or anxiety disorders.

People are seriously effed, you know. They're in bad shape.

And the MBTI does not capture any one of these facts.


I told you once, anyone born with such family name, with such family name, is bound to become a psychologist.

It must be very traumatized.

So Quirk in the year 2000 provided a simple summary of the strengths and the weaknesses of MBTI.

And this is what he said.

The theory provides context and language for understanding individual complexity.

A reasonable understanding of a theory is needed in order to administer and interpret the test.

People recognize the types in themselves. They recognize the types in other people.

The typology is a useful way of describing themselves in others' works.

Many people ascribe trait qualities to type preferences, leading to incorrect interpretations of type.

Types are not traits. Types are not traits.

And let me repeat it a third time.

Types are not traits.

Don't confuse the two.

The preferences and types quirk, continuous.

The preferences and types identify and affirm client individual differences as normal and adaptive.

Type descriptions too easily gloss over real psychological problems which seem underplayed.

Underplayed is an understatement. Non-existent.

Things about surface behaviors competently identify the complex constructs that interact under the surface where Jung and his followers would seriously disagree.

Quirk continues, "The question suggests the idea that the typology itself is simple and static rather than complex and dynamic.

Not a good thing.

The test yields four scales that are relatively unambiguous in what they measure.

The scales look like familiar trait measures and can easily be interpreted as four independent traits which they are not.

The test requires only four measured constructs to yield rich personality descriptions with broad applicability.

The six in types are not measures directly.

Knowledge of theoretical assumptions is needed in order to identify the types.

"OK. I gave you an overview of all the big names in Psychometrics and Psychology and Astrology at the Ignite Network.

What does the humble – I mean, had I been modest, I would have been perfect.

What does the humble Saint-Lakne think about the MBTI?

I like the MBTI. I like it a lot.

I realize that it has the qualities of fortune telling.

You know the Barnum Effect?

If you use sentences that are sufficiently broad, people will apply these sentences to themselves.

They would feel that the sentences are accurate because the sentence is sufficient.

For example, if you use a sentence like "You are very sensitive." Everyone will tell you, "Yeah, it applies to me. How did you know? How did you know I'm sensitive? Amazing! You are so insightful."

I mean, the broader the sentences, the more applicable they are.

And whatever you say about the MBTI, the sentences are too broad, too very broad.

So there's a problem there.

It's a bit like fortune cooking or fortune telling. I agree with Hogan on this.

But there's a lot of wisdom, cumulative wisdom, institutional wisdom in fortune telling, tarot card reading, and so on.

The wisdom of the ages comes true. And typologies, whether they are tarot cards, zodiac signs, MBTI are useful.

To deny their usefulness is unuseful. They're useful.

Do I believe that MBTI reflects real 16 types of people?

No, I don't believe because I don't believe there are types of people. I believe everyone is a cocktail, a huge cocktail of thousands of ingredients. And so everyone is unique, absolutely unique.

And that's why today we don't use type theories, we use trade theories. But do I believe that this renders the MBTI invalid, unreliable, or useless?

Absolutely not. I think it's exceedingly useful, provides insight. It raises self-awareness. It generates psychological dynamics. It soothes social function. It soothes and comes down. It helps you to reframe and reinterpret events in your past, other people, interactions you've had, interpersonal relationships.

So I'm all for the MBTI.

How valid is it? Well, I doubt it's total validity. How reliable? It's not reliable, from personal experience.

It has no reliability. It's not reliable, but it has utility. No question.

Since this is a reading assignment, I'm going to post the bibliography. In the description of this video, kiddos, better for you to submit the homework assignments on time, or Uncle Sam and Papa Vakni will get you.

You know, my real name is Osam Bin Vaknin. See you later.

My name is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

The MMPI, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, composed by Hathaway, a psychologist and McKinley, a physician, is the outcome of decades of research into personality disorders.

The revised version, the MMPI-2, was published in 1989 but was received cautiously.

MMPI-2 changed the scoring method and some of the normative data. It was therefore hard to compare MMPI-2 to its much-hallowed and often validated predecessor.

The MMPI-2 is made of 567 binary, true or false, items, questions. Each item requires the subject to respond, "This is true or false" as applied to me. There are no correct answers.

The test booklet allows the diagnostician to provide a rough assessment of the patient, the basic scales, based on the first 370 queries.

It is recommended, though, to administer all 567 items in order to reach a much better founded diagnosis.

Based on numerous studies, the items are arranged in scales. The responses are compared to answers provided by control subjects. The scales allow the diagnostician to identify traits and mental health problems based on this comparison. In other words, there are no answers that are typical to a paranoid or a narcissistic or an antisocial patient. They are only responses that deviate from an overall statistical pattern and conform to the reaction patterns of other patients with similar scores.

The nature of the deviation determines the patient's traits and tendencies but not his or her diagnosis. The interpreted outcomes of the MMPI-2 are phrased this way.

The test results play subject X in these groups of patients who, statistically speaking, reacted similarly. The test results also get subject X apart from these groups of people who, statistically speaking, reacted or responded differently to subject X. TheX.

The test results would never say subject X suffers from this or that mental health problems.

There are three validity scales and ten clinical ones in the original MMPI-2, but other scholars derived hundreds of additional scales.

For instance, to helping diagnosing personality disorders, most diagnosticians use either the MMPI-1 with the Maury-Woll-Batschwilt scales in conjunction with the Wiggins content scales or, more rarely, the MMPI-2 updated to include the Colligan-Maury-Offerlet scales.

The validity scales indicate whether the patient responded truthfully and accurately or was trying to manipulate the test. They pick up patterns.

Some patients want to appear normal, some patients want to appear abnormal and consistently choose what they believe are the correct answers to reflect their choices. And this kind of behavior triggers the validity scales.

These are so sensitive that they can indicate whether the subject lost his or her place on the answer sheet and was responding randomly. The validity scales also alert the diagnostician to problems in reading comprehension and other inconsistencies in response patterns of the subject.

The clinical scales are dimensional, though not multi-phasic, as the test means leading name implies.

Clinical scales measure hypochondriacids, depression, hysteria, psychopathic deviation, masculinity, femininity, paranoia, psychostenia, schizophrenia, hypomania and social introversion.

They also scales for alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder and a variety of personality disorder.

The interpretation of the MMPI-2 is now fully computerized. A computer is fed with a patient's sex, age, educational level and marital status and does the rest.

Still, many scholars have criticized the scoring of the MMPI-2 and it is a hotly debated issue.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

The PCLR, the Psychopathy Checklist Revised Test, is a prime example of everything that's wrong with psychological tests and structured interviews and why they have very dubious, predictive and retroactive power.

The second edition of the PCLR test, originally designed by the controversial maverick, Canadian criminologist Robert Hare in 1980 and again in 1991, this second edition contains 20 items designed to rate symptoms which are common among psychopaths in forensic populations.

For instance, prison inmates or child molesters.

The test is designed to cover the major psychopathic traits and behaviors, callous, selfish, remorseless use of others, known as factor one, chronically unstable and antisocial lifestyle, factor two, interpersonal and affective deficits, impulsive lifestyle and antisocial behavior and so on.

The 20 traits assessed by the PCLR score are glib and superficial charm, grandiose, exaggeratedly high estimation of oneself, need for stimulation, pathological lying, cunning and manipulativeness, lack of remorse or guilt, shallow affect, superficial emotional responsiveness, callousness and lack of empathy, parasitic lifestyle, poor behavioral controls, sexual promiscuity, early behavior problems, lack of realistic long term goals, impulsivity, irresponsibility, failure to accept responsibility for all actions, many short term marital relationships, juvenile delinquency, revocation of conditional release and finally criminal versatility.

Psychopaths score between 30 and 40.

Normal people score between 0 and 5.

Last time I took the test, I scored 13, 1, 3. Not exactly a psychopath, but not exactly normal either. But Hare himself was known to label a psychopath people with a score as low as mine, 13.

The PCLR is therefore an art rather than a science and it leaves much to the personal impressions of those who administer it.

As I said, even here himself contradicted his own teachings regarding the test.

The PCLR is based on a structured interview and collateral data gathered from family, friends and colleagues and from documents.

The questions comprising the structured interview are so transparent and self-evident that the PCLR is easy to lie one's way through the test and completely skew its results.

Questions are naive.

Moreover, scoring by the diagnostician is highly subjective, which is why the DSM and the ICT stick to observable behaviors in their criteria for antisocial or dissocial personality disorders.

Peter's work is widely rejected by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Committee.

His test and his distinctions between psychopaths and patients with antisocial personality disorders have yet to make the mainstream of current thinking.

The hope of the designers of the PCLR test is that information gathered outside the scope of a structured interview will serve to rectify any potential abuse, diagnostic bias and manipulation by both the testee and the tester.

The PCLR, in other words, relies on the truthfulness of responses provided by notorious liars, psychopathsand on the biased memories of multiple witnesses, all of them close to the psychopaths and with an axe to grind.

These are not truly good foundations for any scientific endeavor, let alone for a test who pretends and claims and aspires to diagnose an allegedly and ostensibly objective phenomenon, antisocial personality disorder.

My name is Sam Vaknin and I am the author of Melidhut Sertlada: Narcissism-Reversal.

Today we will discuss the Rorschach ink blots test.

Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach developed a set of blots of ink, ink blots, to test subjects in his clinical research.

In a 1921 monograph published in English in 1942 and 1951 respectively, Rorschach postulated that the blots of ink evoked consistent and similar responses in groups of patients.

Only ten of the original ink blots are currently in diagnostic use.

It was John Exner who systematized the administration and scoring of the test, combining the best of several systems in use at the time, systems developed by Beck, Kloper, Brackenbuhl and Singer.

The Rorschach ink blots are ambiguous forms printed on 18 x 24 cm cards in both black and white and sometimes in color.

The very ambiguity of the ink blots provokes free associations in the test subject.

The diagnostician stimulates the formation of flights of fantasy and fancy by asking questions such as "What do you think this is? What might this be?"

The diagnostician then proceeds to record verbatim the patient's responses as well as the ink blots' spatial position and orientation.

An example of such record would read "Card V upside down, child sitting on a porch and crying waiting for his mother to return."

Heading down through the entire deck, the examiner then proceeds to read aloud the responses while asking the patient to explain, in each and every case, why she or he chose to interpret the card the way they did.

He asks "What in Card V prompted you to think of an abandoned child?"

In this phase, the patient is allowed to add details and expand upon his or her original answer.

Again, everything is noted and the subject is asked to explain what is the card or in his previous response gave birth to the added details, so that it is an iterative process - a process where the answer expands as the conversation continues and the card is merely a trigger.

Scoring the Rorschach test is a demanding task.

Inevitably, due to its literary nature, there is no uniform, automated scoring system.

Methodologically, the scorer notes four items for each card.

One - location.

Which parts of the ink blots the ink blot were singled out or emphasized in the subject's responses?

Did the patient refer to the whole blot, to a detailed ink blot?

And if so, was it a common or an unusual detail? Did the patient refer at all to the white spaces between the blots?

The second item is determinant.

Does the blot resemble what the patient saw in it? Which parts of the blot correspond to the subject's visual fantasy and narrative?

Is it the blot's form, movement, color, texture, dimensionality, shading or symmetrical pairing that might have provoked in the subject the responses that he gave?


The third thing noted by the diagnostician is the content.

Which of Exner's 27 content categories was selected by the patient?

A human figure, an animal declare, blood, fire, sex, x-ray and so on.


The patient's responses are compared to the overall distribution of answers among people tested via the two.

Statistically, certain cards are linked to specific images and plots.

For example, card one often provokes associations of bats or butterflies.

The sixth most popular response to card four is animal skin or human figure dressed in fur and so on.

Then there is the issue of organizational activity.

How coherent and organized is the patient's narrative and how well does he or she link the various images together?

There is form quality.

How well does the patient's "person" fit with a blot?

There are four grades from superior through ordinary and weak to minus.

Exner defined minus as the distorted, arbitrary, unrealistic use of form as related to the content offered, where an answer is imposed on the blot area with total or near total disregard for the structure of the area.

The interpretation of the test results on both the scores obtained and on what we know about mental health disorders is somewhat questionable.

The test teaches the skill diagnostician of how the subject processes information and what is the structure and content of his internal world.

These provide meaningful insights into the patient's defenses, psychological defenses, reality tests, intelligence, fantasy life and psychosexual makeup.

Also it is thought.

The Rorschach test is highly subjective and depends inordinately on the skills and training of the diagnostician and his interpretative abilities.

It is therefore cannot be used to reliably diagnose patients.

It merely draws attention to the patient's defenses and personal style.

In the case of narcissists, that's not enough.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Personality assessment is perhaps more of an art form than a science.

In an attempt to render it as objective and standardized as possible, generations of clinicians came up with psychological tests and structured interviews.

These are administered under similar conditions and use identical stimuli to elicit information from respondents.

This way, any disparity in the responses of the subjects can and is attributed to the idiosyncrasies of their personalities and not to any flaws in the tests themselves.

Most tests restrict the repertory of permitted answers.

Consider, for instance, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the MMPI-2.

The true or false are the only allowed reactions to questions in the MMBI.

Scoring and keying the results is also an automated process wherein all true responses get one or more points on one or more scales.

All false responses get no points at all.

So these processes are automated and it limits the involvement of the diagnostician to the interpretation of the test results, the scale scores.

Admittedly, interpretation is arguably more important than data gather.

Summing it up, inevitably biased human input cannot and is not avoided in the process of personality assessment and evaluation, but its pernicious effects are somewhat reigned in by the systematic and impartial nature of the underlying instruments, the psychological tests.

Still, rather than rely on one questionnaire and its interpretation, most practitioners administer to the same subject a battery of tests and structured interviews.

These often vary in important aspects, their response formats, the stimuli involved, the procedures of administration and the scoring methodology.

Moreover, in order to establish a test's reliability, many diagnosticians administer it repeatedly over time to the same client.

If the interpreted results are more or less the same, the test is said to be reliable.

The outcomes of various tests must fit in with each other. Put together, they must provide a consistent and coherent picture.

If one test yields readings that are constantly at odds with the conclusions of other questionnaires or interviews, this test may not be valid.

In other words, it may not be measuring what it claims to be measuring.

Thus, a test quantifying one's grandiosity must conform to the scores of tests which measure a reluctance to admit failings or propensity to present a socially desirable and inflated facade.

These elements must fit together, grandiosity, reluctance to admit failings and an inflated self-image for self.

If a grandiosity test is positively related to irrelevant, conceptually independent traits such as intelligence, let's say, or depression, it doesn't render it valid.

There's something wrong with it.

Most tests are either objective or projective.

The psychologist George Kelly offered this tangy and chic definition of "boomph" in an article in 1958 titled "Men's Construction of His Alternatives." It's included in his book "The Assessment of Human Motives.

He says, "When the subject is asked to guess what the examiner is thinking, we call it an objective test. When the examiner tries to guess what the subject is thinking, we call it a projective device.

The scoring of objective tests is computerized. No human input is involved.

Examples of such standardized instruments include the MMPI-2, the California Psychological Inventory, the CPI, and the Mellon Clinical Multi-Actio Inventory in its second edition by now.

Of course, a human finally leans the meaning of the data gathered by these questionnaires.

Interpretation ultimately depends on the knowledge, training, experience, skills, and natural gifts of the therapist or the agnostic who administered the test.

Projective tests are far less structured and thus a lot more ambiguous.

As L.K. Frann observed in a 1939 article titled "Projective Methods for the Study of Personality," the patient's responses to such tests are projections of his way of seeing life, his meanings, significances, patterns, and especially his feelings.

In projective tests, the responses are not constrained. The scoring is done exclusively by humans and involves judgment and thus, of course, bias.

Clinicians rarely agree on the same interpretation and often use competing methods of scoring, yielding "V-spirit" results.

The diagnostician's personality comes into prominent play in projective tests.

The best known of these so-called tests is the Rorschach Set of Inglewood.

In the following series of videos, we will discuss eight very important psychological tests and structured interviews.

Stay with us and keep watching.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

MMPI-2 Psychological Test: Controversial, but Hard to Fake

The MMPI-2 test booklet has 567 items, but a rough assessment can be made based on the first 370 queries. The items are arranged in scales, and the responses are compared to answers provided by control subjects. The nature of the deviation determines the patient's traits and tendencies, but not their diagnosis. The test results place the subject in a group of patients who reacted similarly, and the validity scales indicate whether the patient responded truthfully and accurately or was trying to manipulate the test. The clinical scales measure various mental health issues, and the interpretation of the MMPI-2 is now fully computerized.

Rorschach's Inkblot Test

The Rorschach Ink Blots Test is a diagnostic tool developed by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. The test uses ambiguous ink blots to provoke free associations in the test subject, and the diagnostician records the patient's responses as well as the ink blots' spatial position and orientation. The test is highly subjective and depends on the skills and training of the diagnostician and his interpretative abilities. It cannot be used to reliably diagnose patients, but it can draw attention to the patient's defenses and personal style.

Psychological Tests and Structured Interviews: Introduction

Personality assessment is an art form that uses psychological tests and structured interviews to render it as objective and standardized as possible. Most tests restrict the repertory of permitted answers, and the scoring and keying of results are automated. Interpretation is arguably more important than data gathering, and most practitioners administer a battery of tests and structured interviews. Projective tests are far less structured and thus a lot more ambiguous, and the scoring is done exclusively by humans and involves judgment and bias.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Fortune Cookie or Reliable Test?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a widely used and contested personality assessment test with various versions and millions of users worldwide. It is based on Jungian theory and classifies individuals into one of 16 personality types. While some studies have found the MBTI to be valid and useful, others criticize its dichotomous nature, lack of reliability, and deviation from Jung's original theory. Despite these criticisms, the MBTI remains popular and can provide insight, raise self-awareness, and help individuals understand their past experiences and relationships.

PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised) Test

The Psychopathy Checklist Revised Test (PCLR) is a structured interview that is used to rate symptoms common among psychopaths in forensic populations. The test is designed to cover the major psychopathic traits and behaviors, but it has very dubious, predictive and retrodictive power. The PCLR is based on a structured interview and collateral data gathered from family, friends, and colleagues and from documents. The hope of the designers of the PCLR test is that information gathered outside the scope of a structured interview will serve to rectify any potential abuse, diagnostic bias, and manipulation by both the testee and the tester.

Trauma Bonding as Fantasy Defense (World Psychiatrists and Psychologists Conference, November 2021)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the role of fantasy in personality disorders, particularly in Cluster B disorders. Fantasy serves as a defense mechanism, allowing individuals to function by creating a safe space and a barrier between themselves and reality. This is seen in various forms, such as trauma bonding, identity disturbance, and shared fantasies. Dismantling these lifelong fantasy defenses is extremely difficult, as they provide a sense of safety and legitimacy for the individuals involved.

Flat Attachment, Dreading Intimacy, and Defiant Promiscuity

Flat attachment is a type of attachment style where people are incapable of bonding or relatedness to others. They commodify people and treat them as replaceable objects. Flat attachment is common among narcissists and psychopaths. With the rise of dating apps and social pressures, people are becoming more atomized and isolated, leading to an increase in flat attachment.

Identify Your Shadow 14 Shadow Types

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses different shadow types in each section. In the first section, he describes the first shadow type characterized by anhedonia, dysphoria, intellectual superiority, victimization, and persecutory delusions. In the second section, he discusses four different shadow types, including a lack of empathy, criminal behavior, paranoia, and emotional instability. In the third section, he provides examples of three different patients as shadow types. In the fourth section, he describes two shadow types in groups, such as nations, clubs, and churches. Finally, in the fifth section, he discusses four different shadow types, including emotional absence, self-destructive behavior, worthlessness, and sadistic behavior.

From Insecure to Flat Attachment: Narcissists, Psychopaths Never Bond (Compilation)

Sam Vaknin proposes a fifth attachment style called "flat attachment," where individuals are incapable of bonding or relating to others at all. They view others as interchangeable and dispensable, transitioning seamlessly from one person to the next without mourning or processing grief. This style is common among narcissists and psychopaths. Vaknin also discusses the confusion between intimacy, emotions, sex, and attachment, emphasizing that intimacy does not necessarily involve emotions, and emotions do not always lead to intimacy. He highlights that attachment styles are stable across the lifespan and are influenced by early caregiving experiences, shaping one's expectations and beliefs about relationships. Vaknin's work suggests that individuals with cluster B personality disorders, as well as those with complex trauma, exhibit insecure attachment styles, which can manifest in behaviors like stalking, and are often rooted in dysfunctional early relationships with caregivers.

Abuse Victim's Body: Effects of Abuse and Its Aftermath

Abuse and torture have long-lasting and frequently irreversible effects on the victim's body, including panic attacks, hypervigilance, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, intrusive memories, and suicidal ideation. Victims experience psychosomatic or real bodily symptoms, some of them induced by the secretion of stress hormones, such as cortisol. Victims are affected by abuse in a variety of ways, including PTSD, which can develop in the wake of verbal and emotional abuse, in the aftermath of drawn-out traumatic situations such as domestic divorce.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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