The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2nd edition is the most widely used personality assessment instrument in the United s. Since the licensing of its first version in 1943, the MMPI has been used by thousands of psychology practitioners and clinicians throughout the world as a practical and an empirically objective assessment inventory and research tool for determining psychopathology and normal or abnormal personality in a wide range of populations. Over the years it has practical and typical use in such varied areas as the social justice system, producing psychological assessments of criminal offenders and police populations. It is used to assess posttramatic stress learning disabilities, and gifted students populations. Significant areas of use that have become typical include personnel assessment in military and air controller sectors and in research involving the normal population, among many others. From 1943 through the 1980s, the MMIP was the subject vehicle of over 10,000 books and articles (Butcher, 251). Over the course of its life the MMPI has evolved through several formats, reflecting the changes in social culture and approaches to sciences. The MMPI-2 was developed in the mid-1980s to apply across cultures, and the MMPI-A was developed for youth for youth populations from 14-18 years. The latest format, the MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF), has not yet replaced the use of the MMPI-2. The MMPI grew from the research work of psychologist Starke Hathaway (1903-1984) during the 1930s at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. Hathaway led his colleagues, including neuropsychiatrist J. Charnley McKinley (1891-1950) and graduate student Paul Meehl, through the task of compiling data from observations of 221 mental patients in the psychiatric unit. and comparing it to a normal nonpathological population of nearly 1,500 adults. With a goal of putting together a practical and easy-to-use assessment tool, they were able to build a 504 item true-false test from which answers could be used to formulate patterns of pathological behavior. Hathaway and his researchers initially defined eight areas of Clinical scales as diagnostic groups (Butcher, 251). These areas were empircally keyed as Hypochondriasis (Hs), Depression (D), Hysteria (Hy), Psychopathic Deviate (Pd), Paranoia (Pa), Psychasthenia (Pt), Schizophrenia (Sc), and Hypomania (Ma). Two other Clinical Scales were later added, Social Introversion in 1946 and Masculinity–Femininity in 1956, defining a total of 10 Clinical Scales for the original MMPI. The MMPI received wide and practical use. By the 1970s, the assessment tool began to show inadequacies in face of a changing cultural climate, noted by a concerned and growing number of psychologists and clinical practitioners. There were antiquated terms on the test that were no longer applicable to the current cultural climate and certain items were seen as sexist, archaic or poorly worded. The norms upon which the testing scores were based reflected an early 1940s Minnesota primarily Caucasian society, limited in education and stylized to small town family life. In 1982 The University of Minnesota Press put together a restandardization committee to update and simplify language content and to rebuild the MMPI from a wider normative base reflective of the United Sates. Changes were less extreme than they were consistent with large body of work already established by the MMPI. The new normative base included a sample of 2,600 people, age 18-85, from the U.S. 1980 census. The sample included wider geographic range of participants from a cross-section of the United States, and as well, it included larger ethnic minority participation. Several validity scales were later added to the MMPI package to measure examinee underreporting and overreporting and the effect of valid and invalid responding. The number of items omitted or marked as both true and false, for example, comprised the Cannot Say (CNS?) score and served as a measure of incompleteness. Protocol validity would be questioned if a large number of questions were skipped. The L scale, standing for Lie would peg respondents who tried to present themselves in favorable light. L statements comprised a group of 15 that were too good to be true and were rarely affirmed by normal persons, but which may be affirmed by a deviant type with a naive idea of what was proper. The F scale marked deviance from normal response while the K Scale, for Correction, sought to reveal those respondents who were clinically defensive. The K Scale is rather difficult to comprehend as it seeks to correct MMPI scores that show a range of too many false negatives that may result in underreporting of problems. it is a subtle correction or suppressor to the other scores. There may be tendencies to fake bad or to be overly self-critical, or to fake good and overplay virtues, one may be too open to admit problems, or one may minimize problems. (Friedman et al, 49). High scores on the K Scale may reflect a defensive approach, while low scores may demonstrate caution and a frank, self-critical approach. However, an argument remains that the K Scale may not be applicable to normal populations and may more so reflect social economic status (SES) and education (Friedman, 52). Hence analysis of the K corrective must include appreciation of a client’s background along with the other raw unadjusted scores. Other validity tests include High scores on the Variable Response Inconsitency (VRIN) and the True response Inconsistenciy (TRIN) scales reflect, respectively, inconsistent or random responding or inconsistency and true/false response bias. The other validity scales used to measure examinee compliance or lack of, were Infrequency, Back Infrequency (Fb), Infrequency-Psychopathology (Fp), and Superlative self-Presentation (S). Over the years the some of the meanings of the Clinical Scales have changed or have been revamped, noting the high intercorrelation and complexity among some of them. Some of their original meaning may not distinctly apply to modern psychiatric syndromes, yet their empirical correlates remain firm (Butcher, 256). For example Psychasthenia may be seen today as engaging the obsessive-compulsive feature with its array of divergent beliefs and emotions. Yet, the complexity of the scores are demonstrated as it has been shown that individuals with disorders may show high scores across several scales. The Scales have been numbered to help maintain objectivity of their source meanings and they still remain as relevant assessment instruments with the MMPI inventory having been translated into 115 languages (Adams amp. Culbertson, 2005).
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