The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is a test that is utilized in the measurement of various abilities and personality dispositions of the test takers. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is used for civilian cases as well as the armed services. Below is a look at the test.
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Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
This test was developed in the late1930s. It was created at the University of Minnesota and this is where it obtained its name from. It is split into categories or scales on which the behavior of the test takers is classified. From the time it was developed, other forms of the test such as the MMPI -2 have been created for purposes of including elements and groups that were not catered for in the original test. For example, adolescents were not catered for in the initial test and their test has now been developed. The test that has been initiated for adolescents is given the name MPPI-A; which means Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory for Adolescents (Gotts 2005, pp.14-19). The original Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was made up of ten categories or scales. Most of the scales have been maintained while others have undergone dramatic changes to reflect new circumstances. These new changes are covered in the MMPI-2.In this term paper; the original scales will be covered as they are the ones used by the psychologist I observed.
The Categories of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is divided into the following original clinical scales: Scale number zero is for people who are social introverts, scale number two is for people who are affected by depression, scale number three is for hysterical individuals, scale number four is for psychotic people while scaling number five deals with masculinity and femininity aspects of human behavior. There is also scale number six which deals with paranoia, scale number seven which is for psychasthenia, scale number eight for schizophrenia, and scale number 9 for hypomania.
Determining the Validity of Results
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory has three more scales that are separate and unique. They are called the validity scales and their function is to determine the validity of the results. The validity scales are L, F, and the “cannot say.”
How the Test is Administered
The various scales have several elements that the test taker is supposed to respond to. The psychologist administering the test usually advises the test taker to assume a position that he or she thinks is comfortable. Then the papers with the test material are given to the test taker; who begins to respond to the items. It takes more than one hour depending on the level of speed of the test taker.
There is a computer version of the test which can be done without a psychologist but the results cannot be interpreted without the intervention of a clinical psychologist.
Usage of the test
In modern society, the test is in wide usage in the courts. Most of the time judges have to get a clinical psychologist to examine a parent to determine whether he or she is fit to assume custody of a child. This is the test that is utilized. The most important thing that should be remembered is that the test must be administered by a qualified person and all the other necessary factors must be included in the interpretation of the results.
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The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and Family Law
Family law is a complicated area and the issues that are associated with family conflicts always end up in character challenges. The courts find the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory useful in determining the suitability of the parties in a case in terms of character. Several items are assessed in the usage of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. These include:
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory can assist in telling how socially intelligent a father or mother is. From this assessment a decision can be made regarding custody rights since the level of parental social intelligence will have an impact on child care.
Human beings are exposed to numerous situations where breaking down is possible. In family matters, parents are expected to be emotionally stable. This is the only way they can be in a position to create a good climate for the children’s development. If emotional stability is not present, the test will reveal this and the appropriate action is taken.
The test is also used in military recruitment where it tests several character traits. The most important of these is control, which is a vital attribute in military service. Numerous terms are used to describe this item of character such as the ability to lead and remaining cool even under threat, but control is the easiest way to describe it. As shown by the various elements in the ten scales, individuals who are hypomaniac, schizophrenic, hysterical, paranoid, or depressed are not able to show any reasonable level of control, which is a useful quality in military service. The same is true for people with personality problems in the other scales. Administering this test to the men and women who want to serve in the military helps identify those with high levels of control. Then there is mental health. Military service involves the handling of dangerous weapons. This is largely true for most wings of the armed services. The last person who should be given access to a dangerous weapon such as the ones used by the military is someone whose mental health is in question.
In the administration of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the clinical psychologists are usually out to look for young men and women who are of sound minds for military service (Nichols 2001, pp.76-80). The different scales of the test have different degrees of seriousness. For example, a schizophrenic person is not supposed to be given a chance to serve in the military. In the wake of equality debates for gays, the individuals who are confused as far as their genders are concerned may be allowed to serve in the military. Therefore, scale number five which deals with masculinity and femininity may not be such a huge hindrance to enlisting. It is, therefore, justifiable to say that in the administration of the test, the military is in search of mentally healthy individuals.
Advantages and benefits of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is easy to administer. The available computer versions of the test can be taken by anyone without the help of a clinical psychologist. The only area where a specialist must be involved is in the interpretation of the results. The test also gives a measure of the personality of an individual in a way that is not subjective. It is, therefore, possible to rely on its results. The benefits of the test include fact that the courts can assess the mental health of parents in custody cases and other family law cases. Also, the defense department can get people who can stand the challenges of military service. This is possible because, during the administration of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, individuals who display negative behavioral aspects are not recruited. An only mentally healthy individuals are given a chance. Therefore the demanding nature of military service does not push these people into doing unacceptable things given that they are strong enough to handle it (Nichols 2001, pp.89-92).
Apart from the above, the welfare of children in families is well taken care of since the test can establish the mental health of the parents. It is also easy to explain the actions of some members of the society and therefore know how to deal with them. This would not be possible if the test was not available.
Communication of Results to the Test Taker
The psychologist must have sufficient confidence when explaining the results to the test taker. It is possible to get some test takers who will not accept the results and it is the responsibility of the expert to control the test taker and advice him or her to seek help if there is a problem. It is also advisable to seek the support of the family members of the test taker in extreme cases.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is one of the most important personality assessment tests available (Groth-Marnat 2009, pp.61-62). It was created in the 1930s and since then it has emerged in other forms such as the MPPI-2. It is usually administered by clinical psychologists but in recent times, computer versions have emerged and people can take it without the help of a clinical psychologist but this expert must be involved in interpreting results. It is useful in family law and the military.
Gotts, E & Knudsen, T., (2005).Clinical Interpretation of MMPI-2: A Content Cluster Approach.New York: Routledge.
Groth-Marnat, G., (2009).Handbook of Psychological Assessment, (5th ed.).New York: Wiley.
Nichols, D., (2001).Essentials of MMPI-2 Assessment (Essentials of Psychological Assessment Series) (1st ed.).New York: Wiley.