Background

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

Uploaded 12/10/2012, approx. 3 minute read

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

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love.

It 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 basics case, 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 death 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 place subject X in this group 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.

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-Wright-Bashfield scales in conjunction with the Wiggins-Cannon-Onston scales, or, more rarely, the MMPI-2 updated to include the Colligan-Maury-Offron 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 diagnosticians to problems in reading comprehension and other inconsistencies in response patterns of the subject.

The clinical scales are dimensional, though not multiphasic, as the test misleading name implies.

Clinical scales measure hypochondriacids, depression, hysteria, psychopathic deviation, masculinity, femininity, paranoia, schizophrenia, schizophrenia, hypomania, and social introversion. They also scale for alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a variety of personality disorders.

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.

Thank you.

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

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

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various personality assessment tests in this section. He talks about the three R's test, which helps determine whether someone is a full-fledged narcissist or merely narcissistic. He also discusses the characteristics that attract narcissists to potential partners and briefly touches on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment test. He then discusses the weaknesses and criticisms of the MBTI and Jungian theory. Finally, he talks about the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), the Psychopathy Checklist Revised Test (PCLR), and the Rorschach ink blots test, and notes that personality assessment is more of an art form than a science.


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.


Introverted, Shy, or Schizoid?

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differences between shyness, avoidant personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, introversion, homophobia, social anxiety, and anxiety disorder. He explains that mental health practitioners often conflate these constructs because they rely on observable phenomena rather than etiology and psychodynamics. He then focuses on the difference between introversion and schizoid personality disorder, stating that introverts are deliberate, slow, guarded, paranoid, and skeptical, and are never impulsive. The professor also notes that anxiety plus impulsivity equals psychopathy, while anxiety plus avoidance equals introversion. Finally, he distinguishes between shyness, introversion, and other related personality traits, emphasizing that these personality traits have distinct motivational forces and lead to different personal and peer reactions.


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.


Controversial P Factor Unifying Mental Illness

The P factor is a controversial concept in psychology that suggests a common denominator to all mental disorders. It challenges the traditional approach of diagnosing people based on lists of symptoms or behaviors. The debate surrounding the P factor raises questions about the usefulness of labels and the need for customized treatments. Early intervention is key to preventing severe mental illness later in life.


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.


Normal Personality and Personality Disorders

Personality is a complex pattern of deeply embedded psychological characteristics that are expressed automatically in almost every area of psychological function. Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment in oneself that are exhibited in a wide variety of social and personal contexts. Our temperament is the biological genetic template that interacts with our environment. Our character is largely the outcome of the process of socialization, the acts and imprints and edicts of our environment and nurture, and how they work on our psyche during the formative years, 0 to 6 and in other lists. Personality disorders are dysfunctions of our entire identity, tears in the fabric of who we are.


Psychopath’s “Karma” Confirmed in Study (Patrick’s Triarchic Model, Hyperarousal)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the link between psychopathy and anxiety, emphasizing that psychopathy is a condition of hyperarousal and overreactivity to anxiety and fear. He introduces a recent study on the personal cost of psychopathy, which examines the impacts of psychopathic traits on internalizing and life satisfaction. The study finds that disinhibition is the most impairing trait, while boldness varies in its effects and meanness is primarily related to interpersonal difficulties. Vaknin highlights the complexity and nuance of psychopathy, challenging the notion of psychopaths as purely bad and emphasizing the need for further research and understanding of the condition.


Antisocial Psychopath and Sociopath: Antisocial Personality Disorder

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that is characterized by callousness, ruthlessness, extreme lack of empathy, deficient impulse control, deceitfulness, and sadism. It is frequently ameliorated with age and tends to disappear altogether by the fourth or fifth decade of life. Psychopathy may be hereditary and has a strong genetic, biochemical, and neurological component. Psychopaths are abusively exploitative and incapable of true love and intimacy, and they are irresponsible, unreliable, vindictive, and hold grudges forever.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy