Personality Assessment

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  • -Objective Personality Measuresinvolve the administration of a standard set of questions or statements to which the examinee responds using a fixed set of options.

3. Advantages

  • Its economical.
  • After only brief instructions, large groups can be tested simultaneously, or a single patient can complete an inventory alone.


  • Scoring and administration are relatively simple and objective.
  • This tends to make interpretation easier and seems to require less interpretive skill on the part of the clinician.
  • Apparent objectivity and reliability.

5. Disadvantages

  • It doesnt focus on the individual motive or cognition of each test taker/patient.
  • For example:
  • I have trouble getting to sleep.
  • Thus, two individuals who achieve the same score may actually be quite different, even in reference to the personality trait or construct in question.

6. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

  • Its basic purpose is to identify the psychiatric diagnoses of individuals.
  • Items were assembled from previously published tests of personality, case histories, and from clinical experience.
  • The following psychiatric categories were used: hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, psychopatic deviate, paranoia, psychastenia, schizophrenia, and hypomania.

7. Simulated MMPI Items Clinical Scales Simulated Items (Answered True) Hypochondriasis (Hs) At times I get strong camps in my (excessive concern with bodily functions) intestines. Depression (D) I am often very tense on the job. (Pessimism, hopelessness, slowing of action and thought) Hysteria (Hy) Sometimes there is a feeling like(Unconscious use of physical and mental problems to avoid conflicts or responsibility) something is pressing in on my head. Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) I wish I could do over some of the(Disregard of social custom, shallowtemotions,inability to profit from experience) things I have done. Masculinity-Femininity (Mf) I used to like to do the dances in gym(Items differentiating between traditional sex roles) class. 8. Clinical Scales Simulated Items (Answered True) Paranoia (Pa) It distresses me that people have the(Abnormal suspiciousness, delusions ofwrong ideas about me. Grandeur or persecution) Psychasthenia (Pt) The things that run through my head(Obsessions, compulsiveness, fears, sometimes are horrible. guilt, indecisiveness) Schizophrenia (Sc) There are those out there who want(bizarre, unusual thoughts or behavior, to get me. withdrawal, hallucinations, delusions) Hypomania (Ma) Sometimes I think so fast I cant (Emotional excitement, flight of ideas, keep up. overactivity)Social Introversion (Si) I give up too easily when discussing (Shyness, disinterest in others, insecurity) things with others. 9. PROJECTIVE TESTS

  • Projective techniqueis a procedure for discovering a persons characteristic modes of behavior by observing his behavior in response to a situationthat does not elicit or compel a particular response.

10. Characteristics of Projective Techniques

  • Examinees are forced to imposed their own structure and, in so doing, reveal something of themselves (such as needs, wishes, or conflicts).
  • The stimulus material is unstructured.The kinds of responses that the individual is encouraged to give and on how those responses are used.
  • The method is indirect.To some degree or other, examinees are not aware of the purposes of the test; at least the purposes are disguised.


  • There is freedom of response.Whereas questionnaire methods may allow only for a yes or a no, projectives permit a nearly infinite range of responses.
  • Response interpretation deals with more variables.Since the range of possible responses is so broad, the clinician can make interpretations along multiple dimensions (needs, adjustment, diagnostic category, ego defenses, and so on).


  • The American Psychological Associations ethical standards require that psychologists use only techniques and procedures that lie within their competence.
  • This is manifested through the growth of certification and licensing boards, and certification of professional competence offered by the American Board of Professional Psychology.
  • The purchase of testing materials is generally restricted by the publisher to individuals or institutions that can demonstrate their competence in administering, scoring, and interpreting tests.

13. The Question of Privacy

  • The individual has the right to a full explanation of its purposes and of use to which the result will be put.
  • Informed consent to the entire assessment process should be obtained, and individuals should be fully informed of their options.This applies even to those who have initiated the contact (as by voluntarily seeking clinical services).

14. Question of Confidentiality

  • When the individual is tested, every effort should be made to explain the purposes of the testing, the use to which the result will be put, and the people/institutions that will have access to theresults.
  • If it is subsequently becomes desirable to release the results to someone else, the individuals consent must be obtained.
  • It is clear that not all clients wish to have their mental health records released, and even when they sign consent forms, they often seem to do so either out of a fear that they will be denied services or out of sheer obedience to authority.

15. Question of Discrimination

  • Sometimes the minority group members lack of exposure to tests and test situations may be a major source of the problem.
  • Some test materials are prepared or embedded in a racially unfair context.
  • All in all, the manner in which the test items are presented, or the circumstances surrounding the test may work to the disadvantage of the minority individual