• The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

  • FileName: L10MMPI.pdf [read-online]
    • Abstract: 243. I have few or no pains. MMPI. Example 1: Scale 2 D (Depression) • Depression is (a state rather than ... MMPI. MMPI-2. • The MMPI was re-normed on 2600 people, and updated in. the 1980s. • All items were retained, but 14% were re-worded ...

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What is the MMPI?
• The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is "The
most thoroughly researched objective personality
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory assessment instrument yet produced"
• Minnesota - Because it was developed there
• Multiphasic - Applied to tests or investigations designed to
reveal various phases or aspects of personality, health, etc.
– Coined by the MMPI designers
• Personality-
• Inventory-
Early Personality Tests Problems with Earlier Personality Tests
• There were two main problems with early inventories:
• The first tests were devised by our old friends, Sir Francis i.) 'Load' on any trait was considered to be a function of
Galton (1884) & James Cattell (1890) the number of items endorsed- a bad idea (Why?)
• In WWI, Woodworth (1920) compiled a list of 116 ii.) Criterion groups were established by comparison with
symptoms of 'psychological nervousness'- the Woodworth extreme responses from other similar symptom sets,
Psychoneurotic Inventory unvalidated by any empirical checks
– This and related tests were composed of symptom sets iii.) It was assumed that people told 'the whole truth and
taken from books = had high face validity nothing but the truth' and (therefore) that their
endorsements of items were predictive of their real
Self-Perception Versus Reality "Out of the psychometric wilderness..."
- it became apparent that it would be better to treat endorsement as
expressions of how subjects viewed themselves, rather than as • Despite this failure, Stark Hathaway & J.C. McKinley
objective facts about how they actually were
(1940) decided to give the empirical approach another shot
- The Humm-Wadsworth Temperment Scale (1935) tried to control for
subject temperment and to assess reliability by taking a 'no' count • Their ambition aimed high but was focused: they wanted to
- too few or too many symptoms denied was a clue about how to make one single comprehensive test for measuring all
read the subject's responses behaviors (inferred from items) that might be of interest
- alas, it was also pretty bad due to poor criterion groups psychiatrically
• it took many years to make all the scales
• papers were published on the scales as they were
completed, with final versions not out until 1956
Emphasis on Empirical Validation Initial Item Guidelines
• Notwithstanding the problems that had beset other tests,
• They took as an assumption that the link between item
the initial 550 (566) item set was drawn from many of the
endorsement and its significance was a purely empirical
same old sources: clinical intuition, the medical (especially
question, rather than a matter of theory or opinion
psychiatric) literature, and even previous tests:
– This meant empirical validation, using:
i.) Stated as brief, clear declarative sentences (true/false)
• the population that the test was to be used with-
ii.) Written in simple everyday idiomatic language
psychiatric patients
iii.) Written in the first-person singular
• a recognition that people told untruths, for many
reasons iv.) Avoiding negatives
• item analysis (of sorts…) v.) Assuming only common knowledge
- takes about 90 minutes to complete
Normal Sample Patient Samples
• The test was normed on 1040 relatives and friends of
• The beauty of the MMPI design came in the way it was
hospital patients, students, and white-collar workers, as
validated on pre-chosen patient samples (concurrent
well as 254 non-psychiatric hospital patients validity)
– The group was not very carefully controlled on sex, • Patients were selected who had relatively pure
age, or SES
uncomplicated diagnoses of different traits that the authors
of the MMPI wished to diagnose
• Although it has problems, it is without doubt the best
clinical assessment tool out there today
• It is also highly researched, found to be used in 5043
published studies by one 1978 review
Example 1: Scale 1 Hs (Hypochondriasis)
"It is essential note that the details of scale development have • Hypochondriasis is characterized by an abnormal concern
involved many tentative trials with subsequent validating about physical symptoms in the absence of any evidence of
studies and the finally the adoption of the best scale for physical infirmity or illness
inclusion." • 50 'pure' hypochondriacs were identified
McKinley & Hathaway, 1944 • Items were included in the Hs scale if there was significant
difference in the frequency of agreement between the
hypochondriacs and non- hypochondriacs
– Difference > 2 SEs of the proportion endorsing the item
Hs: Item Exclusion Hs: Cross-Validation
• Some were excluded for lacking face validity: e.g. • The whole scale was then cross-validated by trying it on a
obviously based on marital status or attitude towards ones second set of hypochondriacs, patients with physical
children problems, and normals, and showing that the scale
• Others were excluded by more defensible empirical means: differentiated between the three
contrasting a non-hypochondriac patient group with high
scores against true hypochondriacs (also with high scores)
Hs: Examples Example 1: Scale 2 D (Depression)
• Positives: • Depression is (a state rather than trait) characterized by
23. I am troubled by attacks of nausea and vomiting depressed feelings, low morale, dissatisfaction
161. The top of my head sometimes feels tender. • 50 diagnosed depressive patients served as the reference
189. I feel weak all over much of the time. group
• Negatives • There were also a group of depressed normals, and normal
2. I have a good appetite
7. My hands and feet are usually warm enough
190. I have very few headaches
243. I have few or no pains.
D: Item Selection D: Validity
• Items were included in the D scale if
• Normals averaged 18
– They showed a progressive increase in frequency of
• Physically ill averaged 22
endorsement from the normal through the depressed
normals to the patients • Random psychiatric cases averaged 24
– The %age difference between the normal and reference • Depressed group averaged 37
group was 2.5 times the standard error
• 60 items were selected
– 11 of served as correction items: to identify special
conditions (suppressor variables), including physical
illnesses and religious fervor
D: Examples The Clinical MMPI Scales
• Positives:
43. My sleep is fitful and disturbed The neurotic triad:
182. I am afraid of losing my mind 1 Hs: Hypochondriasis (33): Abnormal concern with bodily functions
2 D: Depression (60): Depressive affect
259 I have difficulty in starting to do things
3 Hy: Hysteria (60): Neurotic symptoms for avoiding or hiding from
• Negatives conflict and responsibility
2. I have a good appetite - High religious Bible students also score high
8. My daily life is full of things that keep me interested 4 Pd: Psychopathic Deviate (50): Measure disregard for social customs
5 Mf: Masculinity/Femininity (60): Gender roles/ Homoeroticism
• Correctors (Negative)
98. I believe in the second coming of Christ
154. I have never had a fit or convulsion
The Clinical MMPI Scales Other MMPI Scales
The psychotic tetrad - Over 500 experimental scales have been constructed
6 Pa: Paranoia (40): Suspiciousness, delusions of grandeur - most have been little researched, although a few are fairly
and persecution widely used
7 Pt: Psychasthenia (48): General neurotic symptoms,
including obsession, compulsion, fear, and guilt
8 Sc: Schizophrenia (78): Bizarre thoughts and behavior,
delusions, hallucinations
9 Ma: Hypomania (46): Emotional excitement and over-
0 Si: Social Introversion (70): Shyness, insecurity, low social
The Question Scale The Lie Scale
• 4 scales were designed specifically to enable real-time
• 4 scales were designed specifically to enable real-time validity checks of individual MMPI profiles
validity checks of individual MMPI profiles ii.) The lie (L) scale: 15 false-scoring items that try to
i.) The question (Q or ?) scale: Items answered both true catch people attempting to put themselves in a good
and false (= "cannot say") light
- High scores in general neurotic ('psychoasthenic') - it was never validated or cross-validated but based on
patients a priori notions
- this scale has never been well-validated, and is now - a high L scale does not totally invalidate the profile,
little used but suggests that the interpretation must be cautiously
- sophisticated subjects will not be fooled by it
Scale L Examples The Validity/Frequency Scale
15. Once in a while I think of things too bad to talk about • 4 scales were designed specifically to enable real-time
45. I do not always tell the truth validity checks of individual MMPI profiles
75. I get angry sometimes iii.) The Validity (F = Frequency) Scale
150. I would rather win than lose in a game - 64 disparate items answered almost always in one
direction by the normal group
- A high F usually indicates carelessness, inattention, or
lack of comprehension or cooperation, although
subjects high on the schizophrenic spectrum may also
score high on the F Scale.
The Validity/Frequency Scale: Examples The Correction (K) Scale
True: iii.) The Correction (K) Scale
27. Evil spirits possess me at times - Items endorsed by deviants with relatively normal
151. Someone has been trying to poison me profiles = false negatives
210. Everything tastes the same - using a weighting procedure and correction items, it was
False: possible to define a means to use this to increase
validity of many clinical scales (Hs, Pd, Pt, Sc, Ma)
65. I loved my father
- BUT it is also loaded on SES: college-educated subjects
220. I loved my mother are 1.5 SDs higher on this scale than non-college-
272. At times I am full of energy educated subjects
The Correction (K) Scale MMPI-2
True: • The MMPI was re-normed on 2600 people, and updated in
6. I have very few quarrels with members of my family the 1980s
False • All items were retained, but 14% were re-worded
160. I have never felt better in my life than I do now • 154 new experimental items were included, for 'new'
142. I certainly feel useless at times disorders such as eating disorders, Type A personality,
drug abuse
170. I worry over money and business
• The t-scores were fixed up, to be better comparable
383. People often disappoint me between scales
398. I often think "I wish I was a child again".
• Test/re-test r of individual scales = .58 to .92
• SE is large
• Nevertheless, studies (mostly on the old MMPI) indicate it
works to some degree: a high score on a scale predict the
proper clinical diagnosis 60% of the time

Use: 0.0337