About Psychological Tests

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Table of Contents

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 ) Rorschach Ink Blot Test Halstead-Reitan Battery of Neuropsychological Tests
Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)  
The 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) Wechsler Memory Scale  
The Myers-Briggs Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)  
Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) Luria Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery  

 


Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 )

The MMPI-2 is a true false paper and pencil questionnaire that has 556 questions like "I worry about sex matters", or "I believe I am being plotted against".  The test is not timed and can take anywhere from one to three hours to complete.  The original MMPI was developed in the 1950's and was recognized as a breakthrough in objective psychological assessment.  The MMPI and the revised MMPI-2 are by far the most widely used questionnaires in psychological assessment.   Their principle focus is on identifying pathological illness, disorders and problems.  The MMPI does not identify a subject's strengths and abilities.  A tremendous amount of research has been conducted on the MMPI and MMPI-2.  The MMPI and MMPI-2 has been described as the most successful failures in the history of psychological test construction.   The scales and questions selected for the MMPI  are based on test construction and validation procedures that failed their objectives.  The MMPI does not and never did what it was intended or designed to do.  But despite the failure, the developers and psychological community discovered other very useful applications for the MMPI.  And while there are many questionnaires in psychology that are superior in their construction and design, the shear volume of research on the MMPI makes the MMPI-2 mandatory in virtually all psychological testing for purposes of clinical diagnosis.  The MMPI has been described as "the big dog in psychology, but not the smartest or easiest to own."  Interpreting the MMPI and MMPI-2 requires a great deal of expertise and experience.  Specialized and supervised training is recommended before using these questionnaires.  Use of the MMPI or MMPI-2 and interpretation without training or without proper consideration of social, cultural, medical and other psychological data is probably negligent.  There is significant debate in the psychological community and evidence that the MMPI and MMPI-2 is not valid across cultural, ethnic and language barriers.  Many argue the questionnaire is valid for people who are English speaking people of European descent.  The attitude of the person taking the MMPI or MMPI-2 and circumstance in which the questionnaires are given can have a significant impact on the results. 


Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI)

The MCMI-II is a true false paper and pencil questionnaire that has 175 questions.   The test is not timed and can take anywhere from one to two and a half hours to complete.  The original MCMI was developed in the 1970's and was constructed with scales that represented  personality disorders contained in the Third Edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III).  The original MCMI was highly controversial and the developers refused to release the statistical and scoring criteria upon which the test was based.  Professionals had difficulty using and trusting the instrument.  The new version was released in 1987 and was based on the the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IIIR).  The MCMI-II approximates but does not represent the current DSM-IV personality disorders.  The MCMI-II is used widely used in psychological assessments that seek to understand and diagnose enduring personality characteristics and to screen for other symptoms.   A fair amount of research has been conducted on the MCMI and MCMI-II.  Much more research is necessary before the questionnaire will prove itself to be reliable and valid.  One principle concern in using the MCMI is the relationship to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  The DSM is derived and based on a political semi-democratic consensus of professionals.  The DSM has been highly controversial and many professionals have argued the DSM is collection of sexist and biased theories.  Some feel the primary purpose is to serve insurance companies and health care determine what they will or will not cover.  Some professionals have identified disorders of personality and mental illness that are politically correct yet ignore scientific evidence.  There is significant debate in the psychological community as well as evidence that the MCMI-2  is not valid across cultural, ethnic and language barriers.   The questionnaire appears to be most valid for people who are English speaking and of European descent.  The attitude of the person taking the MCMI or MCMI-2 and circumstance in which the questionnaires are given can have a significant impact on the validity of the results. 


The 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF)

The 16 Personal Factor Questionnaire (16PF) a multiple choice paper and pencil questionnaire.   There are several versions of the test which lend themselves to different clinical, personality and organizational applications.  The test is not timed and can take anywhere from 45 minutes to one and a half hours to complete.  The 16PF was developed in the 1950 and was constructed with scales that rare very useful in understanding the normal dimensions of personality, the similarities and the differences between individuals and groups.   The construction of the 16PF is based on factor analytic principles and personality theory and was the first questionnaire that represented a scientific description of human personality.  In the 1950's there were no computers or software programs capable of performing a thorough factor analysis and as a result a number of the factor developed have no use.  Despite this problem, the 16PF does do what it was intended to do and does so in a very reliable and useful manner.  The 16PF has been researched extensively and is quite possibly the second most researched objective instrument next to the MMPI.   The 16PF has been used widely used in psychological assessments that seek to understand the more normal aspects of personality and to clarify the expression of any clinical disorders.  A fair amount of research has been conducted on the 16PF.  Much more research is necessary before the questionnaire will prove itself to be reliable and valid.   There is significant experience in the psychological community as well as evidence that the 16PF has some validity across cultural and ethnic.   In fact the instrument appears to discern differences that exist is a good sign.   The questionnaire appears to be most valid for people who are English speaking and of European descent.  The attitude of the person taking the 16PF and circumstance in which the questionnaires are given can have a significant impact on the validity of the results.  The instrument is sensitive and is able to detect whether a person is faking in such as way as to present their self as much better or much worse than they truly are.


The Myers-Briggs

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Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

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Rorschach Ink Blot Test 

The Rorschach is one of the most widely used tests in the United States.  The Rorschach was devised in 1910 by Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist, who began experimenting with ambiguous inkblots.  The test consists of a set of ten card with an inkblot on each card.  Five of the cards are black and white and the other five are in color.  The cards are shown to a subject in a particular order.  The subject is asked what each card might be.  The subject is allowed to make more than one response and may be encouraged under some circumstances.  A record is kept of the patient's response along with the initial reaction time and the total time.  After all cards are completed the subject is asked to go over each response with the examiner.   The role of the examiner at this point is to determine what the subject sees and what makes it look like that.  The inkblots have certain features which tend to look like specific things to many but not all people. What makes an object look like something and what caught the subjects attention is the primary way in which the test works. What people see and why is often amazing and the most interesting part of the test since there is nothing really there but ink blots that look like many many different things. The reliability and validity of the Rorschach is highly controversial - especially with subjects who are resistant.   Some professionals consider the Rorschach to be unscientific.  Others have demonstrated that the Rorschach has clinical and diagnostic value when used in combination with other instruments such as the WAIS and MMPI-2.  Most professionals agree that using the Rorschach alone is probably negligent.  The Rorschach can be rendered useless or invalid if a subject provides less than 10 responses or describes only one area per card that appears to be shaped like a commonly seen or obvious figure. 


Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). 

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) was designed by Henry Murray and Christina Morgan as part of a study of normal personality at a Harvard Psychological Clinic in 1943.  The TAT consists of 30 cards but not all cards are used.  TAT pictures are black and white sketches of situation such as a man standing by a nude woman lying on a bed or people working on a farm.  The drawings have some ambiguity but have certain characteristic that lend themselves to a story.   The subject is asked to create or construct a story for each card they are given.   The TAT is used to understand motivational aspects of behavior and is not very useful in making a diagnosis.  Stories are considered from the perspective of the unusual natures of the theme or plot of each story.  The TAT appears to be useful as tool in self-discovery or as a method to infer underlying or unconscious values or dispositions.  Many professionals consider the TAT unscientific and impossible to validate.  Others argue that the process taking and interpreting the TAT can facilitate treatment and clinical impressions of patients.  The sketches of the TAT depict the 1940's and are strongly influenced by White American culture, furnishings, housing, styles and dress. 


Wechsler Memory Scale

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Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale is the most widely used test of general intelligence in the United States.  The primary role of the WAIS is to evaluate any potential loss or decline in overall intelligence or aspects of intelligence that may be associated with brain disease or injury.  Many patients with brain injury or disease do not show a significant decline in general intelligence.  Some professionals use the WAIS in conduction with a series of other tests such as the MMPI, 16PF, Rorschach and TAT to more fully understand the personality and functioning of patients.  The WAIS is biased and heavily influenced by United States history, culture and educational systems.  In some cases the WAIS reflects exposure to higher education and the quality of that education.   Researchers have argued that the scales used to estimate overall intelligence are those which are most highly correlated with academic performance which is not necessarily the definition of intelligence.  For instance, an engineering major with a minor in US history would usually have distinct performance difference over an art major with a minor in music.  The WAIS is a very limited classification system or predictor of intelligent and creative behavior. 


Luria Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery

[under construction]


Halstead-Reitan Battery of Neuropsychological Tests

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