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The Minnesota Multiphasic

Personality Inventory (MMPI) is

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality


the most widely used and

researched standardized



Special pages

psychometric test of adult



Permanent link

personality and

Page information

Psychologists and other mental health professionals use various versions of the

Wikidata item

MMPI to develop treatment plans; assist with differential diagnosis; help answer

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legal questions (forensic psychology); screen job candidates during the personnel
selection process; or as part of a therapeutic assessment procedure.[2]

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Download as PDF
Printable version

The original MMPI, first published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1943,
was replaced by an updated version, the MMPI-2, in 1989. A version for
adolescents, the MMPI-A, was published in 1992. An alternative version of the
test, the MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF), published in 2008, retains


some aspects of the traditional MMPI assessment strategy, but adopts a different


theoretical approach to personality test development.

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Contents [hide]
1 History

1.1 MMPI

Norsk bokml

1.2 MMPI-2


1.3 MMPI-A

1.4 MMPI-2-RF

2 Current scale composition

Edit links

2.1 Clinical scales

2.2 Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales
2.3 Validity scales

2.4 Supplemental scales

2.5 PSY-5 (Personality Psychopathology Five) Scales
3 Scoring and interpretation
3.1 Recent advancements in the MMPI-2
3.2 Addition of the Lees-Haley FBS (Symptom Validity)
3.3 Racial disparity
4 Translations of the MMPI-2
4.1 Asian Translations
4.1.1 MMPI-2 in Chinese
4.1.2 MMPI-2 in Korean
4.1.3 MMPI-2 in Hmong
5 See also
6 Notes
7 External links



The original authors of the MMPI were Starke R. Hathaway, PhD, and J. C.
McKinley, MD. The MMPI is copyrighted by the University of Minnesota.
The MMPI has been considered the gold standard in personality
testing[citation needed] ever since its inception as an adult measure of
psychopathology and personality structure in 1939. Many additions and changes
to the measure have been made over time, including the addition of dozens of
supplemental, validity, and other content scales to improve interpretability of the
original Clinical Scales, changes in the number of items in the measure, and other
adjustments.[citation needed] The most historically significant developmental
changes include:
In 1989, the MMPI became the MMPI-2 as a result of a major
restandardization project that was undertaken to develop an entirely new set
of normative data representing current population characteristics; the
restandardization produced an extremely large normative database that
included a wide range of clinical and non-clinical samples; psychometric
characteristics of the Clinical Scales were not addressed at that time


In 2003, the Restructured Clinical Scales were added to the published MMPI2, representing a major psychometric reconstruction of the original Clinical
Scales; this project was designed to address known psychometric flaws in the
original Clinical Scales that unnecessarily complicated their interpretability and
validity, but could not be addressed at the same time as the restandardization
process [4] Specifically, Demoralization - a non-specific distress component
thought to impair the discriminant validity of many self-report measures of
psychopathology - was identified and removed from the original Clinical
Scales. Restructuring the Clinical Scales was the initial step toward
addressing the remaining psychometric and theoretical problems of the MMPI2.
In 2008, the MMPI-2-RF (Restructured Form) was published after nearly two
decades of extensive efforts to psychometrically and theoretically fine tune the

measure [5] The MMPI-2-RF contains 338 items, contains 9 validity and 42
homogeneous substantive scales, and allows for a straightforward
interpretation strategy. The MMPI-2-RF was constructed using a similar
rationale used to create the Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales. The rest of the
measure was developed utilizing statistical analysis techniques that produced
the RC Scales as well as a hierarchical set of scales similar to contemporary
models of psychopathology to inform the overall measure reorganization. The
entire measure reconstruction was accomplished using the original 567 items
contained in the MMPI-2 item pool. The MMPI-2 Restandardization norms
were used to validate the MMPI-2-RF; over 53,000 correlations based on
more than 600 reference criteria are available in the MMPI-2-RF Technical
Manual for the purpose of comparing the validity and reliability of MMPI-2-RF
scales with those of the MMPI-2 [5][6] Across multiple studies and as
supported in the technical manual, the MMPI-2-RF performs as good or, in
many cases, better than the MMPI-2.
The MMPI-2-RF is a streamlined measure. Retaining only 338 of the original 567
items, its hierarchical scale structure provides non-redundant information across
51 scales that are easily interpretable. Validity Scales were retained (revised),
two new Validity Scales have been added (Fs in 2008 and RBS in 2011), and
there are new scales that capture somatic complaints. All of the MMPI-2-RF's
scales demonstrate either increased or equivalent construct and criterion validity
compared to their MMPI-2 counterparts[5][6][7]
Current versions of the test (MMPI-2 and MMPI-2-RF) can be completed on
optical scan forms or administered directly to individuals on the computer.
Computer scoring is available and highly recommended over hand-scoring to
reduce scoring errors. Computer scoring programs for the MMPI-2 (567 items)
and MMPI-2-RF (338 items) are licensed by the University of Minnesota Press to
Pearson Assessments and other companies located in different countries. The
computer scoring programs provide a range of scoring profile choices. The MMPI2 can generate a Score Report or an Extended Score Report, which includes the
Restructured Clinical Scales from which the Restructured Form was later
developed.[4] The MMPI-2 Extended Score Report includes scores on the Original
Clinical Scales as well as Content, Supplementary, and other subscales of
potential interest to clinicians. The MMPI-2-RF computer scoring offers an option
for the administrator to select a specific reference group with which to contrast
and compare an individual's obtained scores; comparison groups include clinical,
non-clinical, medical, forensic, and pre-employment settings, to name a few. The
newest version of the Pearson Q-Local computer scoring program offers the
option of converting MMPI-2 data into MMPI-2-RF reports as well as numerous
other new features. Use of the MMPI is tightly controlled for ethical and financial
reasons. Any clinician using the MMPI is required to meet specific test publisher
requirements in terms of training and experience, must pay for all administration
materials including the annual computer scoring license and is charged for each
report generated by computer.



The original MMPI was developed on a scale-by-scale basis in the late 1930s and
early 1940s.[8] Hathaway and McKinley used an empirical [criterion] keying
approach, with clinical scales derived by selecting items that were endorsed by
patients known to have been diagnosed with certain pathologies.[9][10][11][12][13]
The difference between this approach and other test development strategies used
around that time was that it was atheoretical (not based on any particular theory)
and thus the initial test was not aligned with the prevailing psychodynamic
theories. The atheoretical approach to MMPI development ostensibly enabled the
test to capture aspects of human psychopathology that were recognizable and
meaningful despite changes in clinical theories. However, the MMPI had flaws of
validity that were soon apparent and could not be overlooked indefinitely. The
control group for its original testing consisted of a very small number of
individuals, mostly young, white, and married people from rural Midwestern
geographic areas. The MMPI also faced problems with its terminology not being
relevant to the population it was supposed to measure, and it became necessary
for the MMPI to measure a more diverse number of potential mental health
problems, such as "suicidal tendencies, drug abuse, and treatment-related



The first major revision of the MMPI was the MMPI-2, which was standardized on
a new national sample of adults in the United States and released in 1989.[3] The
new standardization was based on 2,600 individuals from a more representative
background than the MMPI.[15] It is appropriate for use with adults 18 and over.
Subsequent revisions of certain test elements have been published, and a wide
variety of subscales were introduced over many years to help clinicians interpret
the results of the original clinical scales. The current MMPI-2 has 567 items, and
usually takes between one and two hours to complete depending on reading
level. It is designed to require a sixth-grade reading level.[15] There is an
infrequently used abbreviated form of the test that consists of the MMPI-2's first
370 items. [16] The shorter version has been mainly used in circumstances that
have not allowed the full version to be completed (e.g., illness or time pressure),
but the scores available on the shorter version are not as extensive as those
available in the 567-item version. The original form of the MMPI-2 is the third most
frequently utilized test in the field of psychology, behind the most used IQ and
achievement tests.



A version of the test designed for adolescents ages 14 to 18, the MMPI-A, was
released in 1992. The youth version was developed to improve measurement of
personality, behavior difficulties, and psychopathology among adolescents. It
addressed limitations of using the original MMPI among adolescent
Some concerns related to use of the MMPI with youth included inadequate item
content, lack of appropriate norms, and problems with extreme reporting. For

example, many items were written from an adult perspective and did not cover
content critical to adolescence (e.g., peers, school). Likewise, adolescent norms
were not published until the 1970s, and there was not consensus on whether
adult or adolescent norms should be used when the instrument was administered
to youth. Finally, the use of adult norms tended to overpathologize adolescents,
who demonstrated elevations on most original MMPI scales (e.g., T scores
greater than 70 on the F validity scale; marked elevations on clinical scales 8 and
9). Therefore, an adolescent version was developed and tested during the
restandardization process of the MMPI, which resulted in the MMPI-A.[17]
The MMPI-A has 478 items. It includes the original 10 clinical scales (Hs, D, Hy,
Pd, Mf, Pa, Pt, Sc, Ma, Si), six validity scales (?, L, F, F1, F2, K, VRIN, TRIN), 31
Harris Lingoes subscales, 15 content component scales, the Personality
Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) scales (AGGR, PSYC, DISC, NEGE, INTR), three
social introversion subscales (Shyness/Self-Consciousness, Social Avoidance,
Alienation), and six supplementary scales (A, R, MAC-R, ACK, PRO, IMM). There
is also a short form of 350 items, which covers the basic scales (validity and
clinical scales). The validity, clinical, content, and supplementary scales of the
MMPI-A have demonstrated adequate to strong test-retest reliability, internal
consistency, and validity.[17]
The MMPI-A normative and clinical samples included 805 males and 815 females,
ages 14 to 18, recruited from eight schools across the United States and 420
males and 293 females ages 14 to 18 recruited from treatment facilities in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, respectively. Norms were prepared by standardizing raw
scores using a uniform t-score transformation, which was developed by Auke
Tellegen and adopted for the MMPI-2. This technique preserves the positive skew
of scores but also allows percentile comparison.[17]
Strengths of the MMPI-A include the use of adolescent norms, appropriate and
relevant item content, inclusion of a shortened version, a clear and
comprehensive manual,[18] and strong evidence of validity. [19][20]
Critiques of the MMPI-A include a non-representative clinical norms sample,
overlap in what the clinical scales measure, irrelevance of the mf scale,[18] as well
as long length and high reading level of the instrument.[20]
The MMPI-A is one of the most commonly used instruments among adolescent



A new and psychometrically improved version of the MMPI-2 has been developed
employing rigorous statistical methods that were used to develop the RC Scales
in 2003 and used in 2008.[4] The new MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF)
has been released by Pearson Assessments. The MMPI-2-RF produces scores
on a theoretically grounded, hierarchically structured set of scales, including the
RC Scales. The modern methods used to develop the MMPI-2-RF were not
available at the time the MMPI was originally developed. The MMPI-2-RF builds
on the foundation of the RC Scales, which are theoretically more stable and

homogenous than the older clinical scales on which they are roughly based.
Publications on the MMPI-2-RC Scales include book chapters, multiple published
articles in peer-reviewed journals, and address the use of the scales in a wide
range of settings.[21] The MMPI-2-RF scales rest on an assumption that
psychopathology is a homogeneous condition that is additive.[22]

Current scale composition

Clinical scales



Scale 1 (AKA the Hypochondriasis Scale) : Measures a person's perception and

preoccupation with their health and health issues., Scale 2 (AKA the Depression
Scale) : Measures a person's depressive symptoms level., Scale 3 (AKA the
Hysteria Scale) : Measures the emotionality of a person., Scale 4 (AKA the
Psychopathic Deviate Scale) : Measures a person's need for control or their
rebellion against control., Scale 5 (AKA the Femininity/Masculinity Scale) :
Measures a stereotype of a person and how they compare. For men it would be
the Marlboro man, for women it would be June Cleaver or Donna Reed., Scale 6
(AKA the Paranoia Scale) : Measures a person's inability to trust., Scale 7 (AKA
the Psychasthenia Scale) : Measures a person's anxiety levels and tendencies.,
Scale 8 (AKA the Schizophrenia Scale) : Measures a person's unusual/odd
cognitive, perceptual, and emotional experiences, Scale 9 (AKA the Mania
Scale) : Measures a person's energy., Scale 0 (AKA the Social Introversion
Scale) : Measures whether people enjoy and are comfortable being around other
The original clinical scales were designed to measure common diagnoses of the
Number Abbreviation


What is measured





Concern with bodily



Awareness of



problems and


Conflict, struggle,


Psychopathic Deviate anger, respect for


society's rules


Masculinity/Femininity masculine or feminine 56

Level of trust,





Worry, Anxiety,



tension, doubts,


Odd thinking and





Level of excitability



Social Introversion

People orientation


social alienation


Codetypes are a combination of the one, two or three (and according to a few
authors even four), highest-scoring clinical scales (ex. 4, 8, 2, = 482). Codetypes
are interpreted as a single, wider ranged elevation, rather than interpreting each
scale individually.

Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales


The Restructured Clinical Scales were designed to be psychometrically improved

versions of the original Clinical Scales, which were known to contain a high level
of interscale correlation, overlapping items, and were confounded by the presence
of an overarching factor that has since been extracted and placed in a separate
scale (demoralization). The RC scales measure the core constructs of the original
clinical scales. Critics of the RC scales assert they have deviated too far from the
original clinical scales, the implication being that previous research done on the
clinical scales will not be relevant to the interpretation of the RC scales. However,
researchers on the RC scales assert that the RC scales predict pathology in their
designated areas better than their concordant original clinical scales while using
significantly fewer items and maintaining equal to higher internal consistency,
reliability and validity; further, unlike the original clinical scales, the RC scales are
not saturated with the primary factor (demoralization, now captured in RCdem)
which frequently produced diffuse elevations and made interpretation of results
difficult; finally, the RC scales have lower interscale correlations and, in contrast
to the original clinical scales, contain no interscale item overlap.[23] The effects of
removal of the common variance spread across the older clinical scales due to a
general factor common to psychopathology, through use of sophisticated
psychometric methods, was described as a paradigm shift in personality
assessment. [24][25] Critics of the new scales argue that the removal of this
common variance makes the RC scales less ecologically valid (less like real life)
because real patients tend to present complex patterns of symptoms. However,
this issue is addressed by being able to view elevations on other RC scales that
are less saturated with the general factor and, therefore, are also more
transparent and much easier to interpret.
Scale Abbreviation


What is measured
A general measure of distress that is
linked with anxiety, depression,



Demoralization helplessness, hopelessness, low selfesteem, and a sense of inefficacy.[26]






Measures an individuals tendency to

medically unexplainable physical

Low Positive

Measures features of anhedonia - a


common feature of depression.[26]

Measures a negative or overly-critical
worldview that is associated with an




increased likelihood of impaired

interpersonal relationships, hostility,
anger, low trust, and workplace
Measures the acting out and social
deviance features of antisocial




personality such as rule breaking,

irresponsibility, failure to conform to
social norms, deceit, and impulsivity
that often manifests in aggression and
substance abuse.[26]
Measures a tendency to develop



Ideas of

paranoid delusions, persecutory beliefs,


interpersonal suspiciousness and

alienation, and mistrust.[26]
Measures a tendency to worry/be




fearful, be anxious, feel victimized and


resentful, and appraise situations


generally in ways that foster negative

Measures risk for psychosis, unusual




thinking and perception, and risk for


non-persecutory symptoms of thought




Validity scales


Measures features of mania such as


aggression and excitability.[26]


The validity scales in all versions of the MMPI-2 (MMPI-2 and RF) contain three
basic types of validity measures: those that were designed to detect nonresponding or inconsistent responding (CNS, VRIN, TRIN), those designed to
detect when clients are over reporting or exaggerating the prevalence or severity
of psychological symptoms (F, Fb, Fp, FBS), and those designed to detect when
test-takers are under-reporting or downplaying psychological symptoms (L, K, S).
A new addition to the validity scales for the MMPI-2-RF includes an over reporting

scale of somatic symptoms (Fs) as well as revised versions of the validity scales
of the MMPI-2 (VRIN-r, TRIN-r, F-r, Fp-r, FBS-r, L-r, and K-r). The MMPI-2-RF
does not include the S or Fb scales, and the F-r scale now covers the entirety of
the test.[27]

New in





"Cannot Say"

Questions not answered


Client "faking good"




F Back







Supplemental scales

Client "faking bad" (in first half of

Client "faking bad" (in last half of

Variable Response Answering similar/opposite


question pairs inconsistently

True Response

Answering questions all true/all



F minus K

Honesty of test responses/not

faking good or bad

Superlative Self-

Improving upon K scale,


"appearing excessively good"


Frequency of presentation in


clinical setting

Infrequent Somatic Overreporting of somatic




To supplement these multidimensional scales and to assist in interpreting the

frequently seen diffuse elevations due to the general factor (removed in the RC
scales)[28][29] were also developed, with the more frequently used being the
substance abuse scales (MAC-R, APS, AAS), designed to assess the extent to
which a client admits to or is prone to abusing substances, and the A (anxiety)
and R (repression) scales, developed by Welsh after conducting a factor analysis
of the original MMPI item pool.
Dozens of content scales currently exist, the following are some samples:



Ego Strength Scale


Over-Controlled Hostility Scale


MacAndrews Alcoholism Scale


MacAndrews Alcoholism Scale Revised


Dominance Scale


Addictions Potential Scale


Addictions Acknowledgement Scale


Social Discomfort Scale

Anxiety Scale

Repression Scale


Type A Scale


Marital Distress Scale

PSY-5 (Personality Psychopathology Five) Scales


The PSY-5 is set of scales measuring dimensional traits of personality disorders,

originally developed from factor analysis of the personality disorder content of the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[30] Originally, these scales
were titled: Aggressiveness, Psychoticism, Constraint, Negative
Emotionality/Neuroticism, and Positive Emotionality/Extraversion;[30] however, in
the most current edition of the MMPI-2 and MMPI-2-RF, the Constraint and
Positive Emotionality scales have been reversed and renamed as Disconstraint
and Introversion / Low Positive Emotionality.[31]
Across several large samples including clinical, college, and normative
populations, the MMPI-2 PSY-5 scales showed moderate internal consistency
and intercorrelations comparable with the domain scales on the NEO-PI-R Big
Five personality measure.[30] Also, scores on the MMPI-2 PSY-5 Scales appear to
be similar across genders,[30] and the structure of the PSY-5 has been
reproduced in a Dutch psychiatric sample.[32]
Scale Name

Measures an individual's tendency towards overt


and instrumental aggression that typically includes a

sense of grandiosity and a desire for power.[30]
Measures the accuracy of an individual's inner


representation of objective reality,[33] often

associated with perceptual aberration and magical
Measures an individual's level of control over their

Constraint (Disconstraint) own impulses, physical risk aversion, and

Negative Emotionality /

Measures and individual's tendency to experience


negative emotions, particularly anxiety and worry.[30]

Positive Emotionality)

Measures an individual's tendency to experience

positive emotions and have enjoyment from social

Scoring and interpretation


Like many standardized tests, scores on the various scales of the MMPI-2 and the
MMPI-2-RF are not representative of either percentile rank or how "well" or
"poorly" someone has done on the test. Rather, analysis looks at relative
elevation of factors compared to the various norm groups studied. Raw scores on
the scales are transformed into a standardized metric known as T-scores (Mean
or Average equals 50, Standard Deviation equals 10), making interpretation
easier for clinicians. Test manufacturers and publishers ask test purchasers to
prove they are qualified to purchase the MMPI/MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF and other
tests.[citation needed]

Recent advancements in the MMPI-2


Addition of the Lees-Haley FBS (Symptom Validity)


Main article: Lees-Haley Fake Bad Scale

Psychologist Paul Lees-Haley developed the FBS (Fake Bad Scale). Although the
FBS acronym remains in use, the official name for the scale changed to Symptom
Validity Scale when it was incorporated into the standard scoring reports
produced by Pearson, the licensed publisher.[34] Some psychologists question the
validity and utility of the FBS scale. The peer-reviewed journal, Psychological
Injury and Law, published a series of pro and con articles in 2008, 2009, and
2010.[35][36][37][38] Investigations of the factor structure of the Symptom Validity
Scale (FBS and FBS-r) raise doubts about the scale's construct and predictive
validity in the detection of malingering.[39]Gass, Carlton S.; Odland, Anthony P.
(2014). "MMPI-2 Symptom Validity (FBS) Scale: Psychometric characteristics and
limitations in a Veterans Affairs neuropsychological setting.)". Applied
Neuropsychology: Adult 21 (2): 18. doi:10.1080/09084282.2012.715608 . The
item content of the FBS and FBS-r scales is based on Lees-Haley's description of
a bona fide litigation stress reaction, described three years prior to his release of
the FBS.[40]

Racial disparity


One of the biggest criticisms of the test is the difference between whites and nonwhites. Non-whites tend to score five points higher on the test. Charles McCreary
and Eligio Padilla from the University of California, Los Angeles state, "There is
continuing controversy about the appropriateness of the MMPI when decisions
involve persons from non-white racial and ethnic backgrounds. In general, studies
of such divergent populations as prison inmates, medical patients, psychiatric
patients, and high school and college students have found that blacks usually
score higher than whites on the L, F, Sc, and Ma scales. There is near agreement
that the notion of more psychopathology in racial ethnic minority groups is
simplistic and untenable.[citation needed] Nevertheless, three divergent explanations
of racial differences on the MMPI have been suggested. Black-white MMPI
differences reflect variations in values, conceptions, and expectations that result
from growing up in different cultures. Another point of view maintains that

differences on the MMPI between blacks and whites are not a reflections of racial
differences, but rather a reflection of overriding socioeconomic variations between
racial groups. Thirdly, MMPI scales may reflect socioeconomic factors, while
other scales are primarily race-related." [41]

Translations of the MMPI-2

Asian Translations



The MMPI-2 has been extensively translated and is currently available in 22

different languages (University of Minnesota Press) and several of these
translations have been developed with Asian populations.[42] This section
provides only a brief overview of some translated versions.
MMPI-2 in Chinese [edit]
The Chinese MMPI-2 was developed by Cheung, Song, and Zhang for Hong
Kong and adapted for use in the mainland. The Chinese MMPI was used as a
base instrument from which some items, that were the same in the MMPI-2, were
retained. New items on the Chinese MMPI-2 underwent translation from English
to Chinese and then back translation from Chinese to English to establish
uniformity of the items and their content. The psychometrics are robust with the
Chinese MMPI-2 having high reliability (a measure of whether the results of the
scale are consistent). Reliability coefficients were found to be over 0.8 for the test
in Hong Kong and were between 0.58 to 0.91 across scales for the mainland. In
addition, the correlation of the Chinese MMPI-2 and the English MMPI-2 was
found to average 0.64 for the clinical scales and 0.68 for the content scales
indicating that the Chinese MMPI-2 is an effective tool of personality
assessment. [43][44]
MMPI-2 in Korean [edit]
The Korean MMPI-2 was developed by Han who conducted several translation
and validation studies in order to establish the Korean MMPI-2. All 567 items were
translated and back-translated for the development of this measure. The median
test-retest correlations were found to be higher for the female sample across both
American and Korean samples: 0.75 for Korean males and 0.78 for American
males, whereas it was 0.85 for Korean females and 0.81 for American females.
The test retest coefficients were comparable to those found in the English MMPI2. The validity of the Korean MMPI-2 was also assessed against spousal and
peer ratings and it was found that the clinical scales on the Korean MMPI-2
performed as well as on the English MMPI-2.[45][46]
MMPI-2 in Hmong [edit]
The MMPI-2 was also translated into the Hmong language by Deinard, Butcher,
Thao, Vang and Hang. The items for the Hmong language MMPI-2 were obtained
by translation and back-translation from the English version. After linguistic
evaluation to ensure that the Hmong language MMPI-2 was equivalent to the
English MMPI-2, studies to assess whether the scales meant and measured the

same concepts across the different languages. It was found that the findings from
both the Hmong-language and English MMPI-2 were equivalent, indicating that
the results obtained for a person tested with either version were very similar.[47]

See also


16PF Questionnaire
Diagnostic classification and rating scales used in psychiatry
Employment testing#Personality tests
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI)
Therapeutic assessment



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External links


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MMPI Psychological Tests

Table of Contents
Emotional Problems

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely and frequently used personality
test in the mental health field.


What is the MMPI


The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was designed to help identify personal, social, and
behavioral problems in psychiatric patients. It's use has, over the years, been greatly expanded.

Lack of Confidence
Eating Disorders
Binge Eating
Eating and Weight
Emotional Eating
Excess Weight
Weight Control
Loved Ones
Separation / Divorce

The test helps provide relevant information to aid in problem identification, diagnosis, and treatment
planning for a client and it has often been used in job screening and other non-clinical assessments. Some
of the uses, both accepted and controversial, include:

Sex / Pornography
Spending / Shopping
Behavioral Problems
Adjustment Disorder

Who I Can Help

How I Can Help
What You Can Do
About Dr Berger
What Is a
Educational Psych...

Evaluation of disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression and schizophrenia
Identification of suitable candidates for high-risk public safety positions such as nuclear power plant
workers, police officers, airline pilots, medical and psychology students, firefighters and seminary students.
Assessment of medical patients and design of effective treatment strategies, including chronic pain
Evaluation of participants in substance abuse programs

Forensic Psychologist
School Psychologist
Social Worker
Life Coach
Personal Coach
Executive Coach
Mental Health Prof...
Pastoral Counselor

Support for college and career counseling

Types of Treatment

Marriage and family counseling



Help is Available

Clinical Psychologist

Criminal justice and corrections

Behavioral Therapy

MMPI Information

Drug and Alcohol


Contact Dr. Berger

The following has been adapted from the Wikipedia website.

Cognitive Behavioral

The original MMPI was developed at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and first published in 1942. The
original authors of the MMPI were Starke R. Hathaway, PhD, and J. C. McKinley, MD. The MMPI is
copyrighted and is a trademark of the University of Minnesota[2], therefore a fee is assessed for each use
of the test.

Gestalt Therapy

The current standardized version for adults 18 and over, the MMPI-2, was released in 1989, with a
subsequent revision of certain test elements in early 2001. The MMPI-2 has 567 items, or questions (all true
or false format), and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete. There is a short form of the test that
is comprised of the first 370 items on the long-form MMPI-2.


Rational Emotive
Reality Therapy
Family Therapy
Group Therapy


Ten clinical scales (as found in the original MMPI) are used in assessment, and are as follows:
hypochondriasis, depression,
masculinity-femininity, paranoia,

Conduct Disorders

psychasthenia, schizophrenia, mania, and social introversion.

Intelligence (IQ)


Explosive Disorder
Multiple Personality

There are an additional three validity scales; (i.e., if the test-taker was truthful, answered cooperatively and
not randomly) and to assess the test-taker's response style (i.e., cooperative).
There is also a version of the inventory for adolescents between the ages of 14 to 18, known as the
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent (MMPI-A). The inventory is composed of 567 True
or False items, and includes the same 13 scales of the MMPI and MMPI-2, as well as a few additional
validity and content scales.


Overview of The MMPI-2 Scales

Sleep Disorders
Phobias and Fears
Fears and Phobias

The following overview of the MMPI-2 scales has been adapted from the Falseallegations: MMPI website:


The MMPI-2 contains seven validity scales and ten clinical scales that are nearly identical to the original
MMPI. Following is a description of the validity scales as well as the clinical scales for the MMPI-2.


Validity Scale


Panic Attacks
Social Phobia
Performance Anxiety
List Of Phobias
Sexual Concerns
Sexual Concerns (M)


Rorschach (inkblot)
Famous Psychologists
Allport, Gordon
Beck, Aaron
Binet, Alfred
Chomsky, Noam
Ellis, Albert
Erikson, Erik
Erickson, Milton
Freud, Sigmund
Fromm, Erich
Glasser, William

The "Cannot Say" Scale ("? scale") - The "?" scale is simply the number of omitted items (including items
answered both true and false). The MMPI-2 manual suggests that protocols with 30 or more omitted items
should be considered invalid and not interpreted. Other experts suggest interpreting with great caution
protocols with more than 10 omitted items and not to interpret at all those with more than 30 omitted items.

Harlow, Harry

L Scale - The L scale originally was constructed to detect a deliberate and rather unsophisticated attempt
on the part of the respondent to present him/herself in a favorable light. People who present high L scale
scores are not willing to admit even minor shortcomings, and are deliberately trying to present themselves in
a very favorable way. Better educated, brighter, more sophisticated people from higher social classes tend

Leary, Timothy

Jung, Carl
Kinsey, Alfred
Laing, R.D.
Lewin, Kurt
Perls, Fritz

Sexual Concerns (M)

Sexual Concerns (F)
Gay and Lesbian
Gender Identity Issues
Sexual Orientation
List of Paraphilias
Helpful Information
Communication Skills
Non-Verbal Comm...
Personal Growth
Skill Enhancement
Adoption / Infertility
For Adoptees
For Adopting Persons
For Birth Parents

a very favorable way. Better educated, brighter, more sophisticated people from higher social classes tend
to score lower on the L scale.

Perls, Fritz
Maslow, Abraham
May, Rollo

F Scale - The F Scale originally was developed to detect deviant or atypical ways of responding to test
items. Several of the F Scale items were deleted from the MMPI-2 because of objectionable content,
leaving the F Scale with 60 of the original 64 items in the revised instrument. The F Scale serves three
important functions:

Piaget, Jean

1. It is an index of test-taking attitude and is useful in detecting deviant response sets (i.e. faking good or
faking bad).
2. If one can rule out profile invalidity, the F Scale is a good indicator of degree of psychopathology, with
higher scores suggesting greater psychopathology.

Skinner, B. F.

3. Scores on the F Scale can be used to generate inferences about other extratest characteristics and
K Scale - Compared to the L Scale, the K Scale was developed as a more subtle and more effective index
of attempts by examiners to deny psychopathology and to present themselves in a favorable light or,
conversely, to exaggerate psychopathology and to try to appear in a very unfavorable light. Some people
refer to this scale as the "defensiveness" indicator, as high scores on the K Scale are thought to be
associated with a defensive approach to the test, while low scores are thought to be indicative of an
unusually frank and self-critical approach. Subsequent research on the K Scale has indicated that the K
Scale is not only related to defensiveness, but is also related to educational level and socioeconomic status,
with better-educated and higher socioeconomic-level subjects scoring higher on the scale. It is not unusual
for college-educated persons who are not being defensive to obtain T-scores on the K Scale in a range of
55 to 60, and persons with even more formal education to obtain T-scores in a range of 60 to 70. Moderate
elevations on the K Scale sometimes reflect ego strength and psychological resources.
Back F (Fb) Scale - The Fb scale consists of 40 items on the MMPI-2 that no more than 10 percent of the
MMPI-2 normative sample answered in the deviant direction. It is analogous to the standard F scale except
that the items are placed in the last half of the test. An elevated Fb scale score could indicate that the
respondent stopped paying attention to the test items that occurred later in the booklet and shifted to an
essentially random pattern of responding.
VRIN Scale (Variable Response Inconsistency) - The VRIN scale was developed for the MMPI-2 as an
additional validity indicator. It provides an indication of the respondents' tendencies to respond
inconsistently to MMPI-2 items, and whose resulting protocols therefore should not be interpreted. It
consists of 67 pairs of items with either similar or opposite content. Each time a person answers items in a
pair inconsistently, one raw score point is added to the score ont he VRIN scale. It is suggested that a raw
score equal to or greater than 13 indicates inconsistent responding that probably invalidates the resulting
protocol, although this scale is still experimental.
TRIN Scale (True Response Inconsistency) - The TRIN scale was developed to identify persons who
respond inconsistently to items by giving true responses to items indiscriminately or by giving false
responses to items indiscriminately. The TRIN scale consists of 23 pairs of items that are opposite in
content. Two true responses to some item pairs or two false responses to other item pairs would indicate
inconsistent responding. The MMPI-2 manual suggests that as rough guidelines TRIN raw scores of 13 or
more or of 5 or less may be suggestive of indiscriminate responding that might invalidate the protocol,
however, this scale is still considered experimental.
Clinical Scales
Scale 1: Hypochondriasis (Hs) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients who manifested a
pattern of symptoms associated with the label of hypochondriasis. A wide variety of vague and nonspecific
complaints about bodily functioning are tapped by the 32 items. All the items on this scale deal with somatic
concerns or with general physical competence. Scale 1 is designed to assess a neurotic concern over
bodily functioning. A person who is actually physically ill will obtain only a moderate elevation on Scale 1.
These people will endorse their legitimate physical complaints, but will not endorse the entire gamut of
vague physical complaints tapped by this scale. All but one of the original items were retained on the MMPI2.
Scale 2: Depression (D) - This scale was originally developed to assess symptomatic depression. The
primary characteristics of symptomatic depression are poor morale, lack of hope in the future, and a general
dissatisfaction with one's own life situation. Very elevated scores on this scale may suggest clinical
depression, while more moderate scores tend to indicate a general attitude or life-style characterized by
poor morale and lack of involvement. Of the original 60 items, 57 have been retained in MMPI-2.
Scale 3: Hysteria (Hy) - This scale was developed to identify patients who demonstrated hysterical reactions
to stress situations. All 60 original items have been retained in the MMPI-2. Items in Scale 3 consist of two
general types: items reflecting specific somatic complaints and items that show that the client considers
himself or herself well socialized and adjusted. Such people generally maintain a facade of superior
adjustment and only when they are under stress does their proneness to develop conversion-type
symptoms as a means of resolving conflict and avoiding responsibility appear. Scale 3 scores are related to
intellectual ability, educational background, and social class. Brighter, better-educated persons of a higher
social class tend to score higher on the scale. In addition, high scores are much more common among
women than among men in both normal and psychiatric populations.
Scale 4: Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients diagnosed as
psychopathic personality, asocial or amoral type. General social maladjustment and the absence of strongly
pleasant experiences are assessed by the 50 items included in Scale 4. Scores on Scale 4 tend to be
related to age, with adolescents and college students often scoring in a T-score range of 55 to 60. Black
respondents have also been reported to score higher than white persons on Scale 4. Scale 4 can be
thought of as a measure of rebelliousness, with higher scores indicating rebellion and lower scores
indicating an acceptance of authority and the status quo. High scorers are very likely to be diagnosed as
having some form of personality disorder, but are unlikely to receive a psychotic diagnosis. Low scorers are
generally described as conventional, conforming, and submissive. All 50 items in the original scale have
been retained in the MMPI-2.
Scale 5: Masculinity-Femininity (Mf) - Scale 5 was originally developed by Hathaway and McKinley to
identify homosexual invert males. The test authors identified only a very small number of items that

Pavlov, Ivan
Rogers, Carl
Satir, Virginia
Wolpe, Joseph
Psych Associations

identify homosexual invert males. The test authors identified only a very small number of items that
differentiated homosexual from heterosexual males. Scores on this scale are related to intelligence,
education, and socioeconomic status. It is not uncommon for male college students and other collegeeducated males to obtain T-scores in the 60 to 65 range. Scores that are markedly higher than expected for
males, based on the persons' intelligence, education, and social class should suggest the possibility of
sexual concerns and problems. High scores are very uncommon among females. When they are
encountered, they generally indicate rejection of the traditional female role. Of the 60 items in the original
scale 5, 56 have been maintained in the MMPI-2.
Scale 6: Paranoia (Pa) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients who were judged to have
paranoid symptoms such as ideas of reference, feelings of persecution, grandiose self-concepts,
suspiciousness, excessive sensitivity, and rigid opinions and attitudes. Persons who score high on this scale
usually have paranoid symptoms. All 40 items in the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2.
Scale 7: Psychasthenia (Pt) - This scale was originally developed to measure the general symptomatic
pattern labeled psychasthenia. This diagnostic label is not commonly used today. Among currently popular
diagnostic categories, the obsessive-compulsive disorder probably is closest to the original psychasthenia
label. Psychasthenia was originally characterized by excessive doubts, compulsions, obsessions, and
unreasonable fears. The person suffering from psychasthenia had an inability to resist specific actions or
thoughts regardless of their maladaptive nature. In addition to obsessive-compulsive features, this scale
taps abnormal fears, self-criticism, difficulties in concentration, and guilt feelings. The anxiety assessed by
this scale is of a long-term nature or trait anxiety, although the scale is somewhat responsive to situational
stress as well. All 48 items from the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2.
Scale 8: Schizophrenia (Sc) - This scale was originally developed to identify patients diagnosed as
schizophrenic. All 78 items in the original scale have been maintained in the MMPI-2. The items in this
scale assess a wide variety of content areas, including bizarre thought processes and peculiar perceptions,
social alienation, poor familial relationships, difficulties in concentration and impulse control, lack of deep
interests, disturbing questions of self-worth and self-identity, and sexual difficulties. Misinterpretations of
reality, delusions, and hallucinations may be present. Ambivalent or constricted emotional responsiveness is
common. Behavior may be withdrawn, aggressive, or bizarre. Scale 8 is probably the single most difficult
scale to interpret in isolation because of the variety of factors that can result in an elevated score. Scores on
this scale are related to age and to race. Adolescents and college students often obtain T-scores in a range
of 50 to 60, perhaps reflecting the turmoil associated with that period in life. Black subjects, particularly
males, tend to score higher than white subjects, perhaps suggesting the alienation and social estrangement
felt by many blacks.
Scale 9: Hypomania (Ma) - This scale was originally developed to identify psychiatric patients manifesting
hypomanic symptoms. Hypomania is characterized by elevated mood, accelerated speech and motor
activity, irritability, flight of ideas, and brief periods of depression. Some of the 46 items deal specifically with
features of hypomanic disturbance, while others cover topics such as family relationships, moral values and
attitudes, and physical or bodily concerns. Scores on this scale are clearly related to age and to race, with
adolescents and college students typically obtaining scores in a T-score range of 55 to 60, while elderly
persons often achieve scores below a T-score of 50. Black persons typically score higher than white
persons on the scale, often scoring in a T-score range of 55 to 65. All 46 items in the original scale have
been maintained in the MMPI-2.
Scale 0: Social Introversion (Si) - Scale ) was developed later than the other clinical scales, but it has come
to be treated as a standard
clinical scale. This scale was originally designed to assess a person's tendency to withdraw from social
contacts and responsibilities. All but one of the 70 items in the original scale have been maintained in the
MMPI-2. The items on this scale are of two general types. One group of items deals with social
participation, while the other group deals with general neurotic maladjustment and self-depreciation. High
scorers are generally seen as socially introverted, while low scorers tend to be sociable and extroverted.
High scorers are very insecure and uncomfortable in social situations. They tend to be shy, reserved, timid,
and retiring, while low scorers tend to be outgoing, gregarious, friendly, and talkative.
Criticism and controversy
Personality tests like the Rorschach inkblot test, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator , and some intelligence (IQ
tests) have come under fire more often than the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), but
critics have raised issues about the ethics and validity of administering the Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory (MMPI), especially for non-clinical uses. By the 1960s, the Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory (MMPI) was being given by companies to employees and applicants as often as to
psychiatric patients.
In the hands of a skilled and experienced psychologist, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
(MMPI) is a powerful instrument. However, ethical use of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
(MMPI) or other psychological test means that results must be interpreted in the context of other
information about the individual, i.e., personal history, reason for assessment, the intended uses of the
report about the results, who made the referral for assessment (e.g., self, family, physician, lawyer), etc. In
practical use, "blind interpretations" where nothing is known of the client except perhaps gender are not
useful, and may be dangerous and unethical.

Additional Information
For more information about the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), please click on the
linked websites listed below. Please remember that it is considered a breach of ethics for a professional to
administer the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) or other psychological test without the
person taking the test fully understanding the nature and purpose of the test and without providing personto-person follow-up by a qualified practitioner.
Pearson Assessments: Publisher of the MMPI
Falseallegations: MMPI Questions to Ask in Forensic cases
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