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The MMPI-2 is the most widely used objective tests used to measure psychopathology. How was it developed? What are some advantages of using a disorders-based objective personality measure, such as the MMPI-2? How could those advantages affect both diagnosis and treatment? What are some disadvantages? How could the disadvantages affect both diagnosis and treatment?
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The MMPI-2 is a revision of the original MMPI, which was published in 1943 by Starke Hathaway and J.C. McKinley. According to Pomerantz (2014), they sought an objective way to measure psychopathology. There were multiple other questionnaires that were available at the time, but they sought a test that would have a solid empirical foundation, which elicits different responses from people in normal and abnormal thinking. They achieved this through empirical criterion keying, which involves identifying distinct groups of people, and comparing their answers to recognize differences, and then include the items that received different responses from the different groups. If the groups answered the same, the item is discarded. Each group corresponded to different mental disorders, with one â€œnormalâ€ control group. Eventually the questions were narrowed down to 550 from more than 1000. The items were placed in 10 groups, each corresponding to a particular disorder, which represented a clinical scale. The higher the client scored on each scale, the more likely he or she demonstrated that form of psychopathology.
Disadvantages of this test include the length of the test, which require reading ability and prolonged attention, as well as the test being susceptible to faking by sophisticated clients who can outwit the validity scales. Additionally, the test focuses on their emphasis on the forms of psychopathology as the factors that make up personality, instead of emphasizing other aspects of personality, like normal traits or strengths.
The advantages of the MMPI-2 include its subjective nature, as well as the therapeutic intervention that is sharing the results with the patient. The test can be helpful in forming DSM5 diagnosis, and then treatment plans for the patient. As far as the test itself, it has built in features to detect when the test taker is dishonest, or exaggerating.
According to the results of the test, it may be deemed invalid. Potentially, for the patient that is able to outsmart the test itself, treatment could be given or withheld that is either not needed or needed, but undetectable. This is why this test should not be given exclusively to diagnose the individual, but instead as a part of many tests used in combination.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 is a list of 567 descriptive sentences that the taker must answer true of false too. It is the most used amongst psychologists and the most psychometrically sound objective personality test (Pomerantz, 2014). In the 1930â€™s, Starke Hathaway and J.C. McKinley created the first MMPI using empirical criterion keying. This uses empirical data instead of just assumptions. Like for depression, one would assume a depressed person is very pessimistic. The MMPI doesnâ€™t just assume this, it uses empirical data to validate it. The MMPI was later revised into the MMPI-2 and later still, shorted into the MMPI-2 Restructured Form. Thereâ€™s an adolescent version now called the MMPI-A for those under the age of 18.
Advantages being that the MMPI-2 is extremely reliable and valid, even after thousands of studies. Many clinical psychologists use this for forming diagnoses, treatment, and placement (Pomerantz, 2013). The MMPI-2 is objective and subject based. It might allow the person to be a little more open and thoughtful of their answers in combination with the clinical psychologistâ€™s opinion. Disadvantages might include lengthiness and the ability to fake. Pomerantz (2013), describes the lengthiness issue for those who donâ€™t have a long attention span (like the most of us). Itâ€™s also discussed that this requires people to be able to read. Those who get bored with the test might start not caring what they answer or start to trigger the validity scales which are in place to help weed out those who â€˜fake goodâ€™ or â€˜fake badâ€™, as Pomerantz (2013) described with Tammy, who didnâ€™t want to face the charges she was up against and instead faked being more pathological than she was. This could greatly increase people getting mis-diagnosed and mis-treated for something they donâ€™t actually have.
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