Objective Personality Tests
Personality is defined as all of the attributes, such as qualities, characteristics, traits, and habits that make you a unique individual. Personality tests are used in a variety of settings to determine what these attributes are. Some of the tests are created with objective questions, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), others like the Rorschach inkblot test are subjective and open to the interpretation of the evaluator's theory base. The MMPI is the most often utilized clinical test. It is used in legal trials to provide personality information on defendants, in custody cases, by psychologists, and in work related settings. The MMPI originated with a psychologist and a psychiatrist (Hathaway and McKinley) at the University of Minnesota in the late 1930s, with the object of speeding up diagnosis and treatment. In the beginning it was intended for use with an adult population but was expanded to include teenagers. The developers of MMPI wanted to differentiate what they called “pure” groups with psychiatric disorders. They did this by establishing ten clinical scales, three validity scales, and many supplementary scales:
Scale 1: hypocondriasis scale
Scale 2: depression
Scale 3: hysteria
Scale 4: psychopathic deviate scale
Scale 5: masculinity-femininity
Scale 6: paranoia
Scale 7: psycasthenia scale
Scale 8: schizophrenia scale
Scale 9: hypomania scale
Scale 0: social introversion
Researchers discovered that people often scored high on more than one scale at the same time and that evaluations using two or more scales tended to be more precise. The results of the MMPI are called a personality “profile.”
The MMPI can be faked because of the obviousness of some of the items. Although the three validity scales can help the psychologist identify abnormal responses that might suggest faking, clients can angle their answers to give a favorable or unfavorable impression.
It is hard to regularly prejudice the MMPI because of the clarity and intricacy of the questions. Like all tests the MMPI has best results when it is interpreted with biographical data and other information about the client. The psychologist applying and interpreting the MMPI must be aware of all related and pertinent elements, including gender, age, education, religion, and other information that will make the interpretation valid.
The world's most widely used personality inventory, the MBTI® or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was developed around the ideas and theories of Carl Jung. Briggs and Myers extended Jung's model with the initial development of the MBTI. They put Jung's concepts of personality types: sensing perception, intuition perception, thinking judgments, and feeling judgments into language easily understood by the average person. The MBTI is licensed in about twenty foreign languages and has been specially designed to be valid in other languages and cultures. Adaptations of the Myers-Briggs appear on many Web sites.