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Explain MMPI as a tool to assess personality.

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The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) developed in 1930. Current version MMPI – 2 (567 items). 

1. Contains 10 clinical scales and several validity scales. 

2. Clinical scales relate to various psychological disorders and its associated personality validity scales determine whether the respondent is faking the answer. 

Depending on the scores it can be identified as relatively high or low on a particular personality trait. 

MMPI-2 is designed to measure many aspects of personality related to psychological


Clinical ScalesDescription of Disorder
HypochondriasisExcessive concern with bodily functions
DepressionPessimism, hopelessness, slowing of actions and thoughts
HysteriaDevelopment of physical disorders such as blindness paralysis and vomiting as an escape form emotional problems
Psychopathic DevianceDisregard for social customs, shallow emotions
Masculinity-FemininityPossession of traits adn interest typically associated with opposite sex.
ParanoiaSuspiciousness, delusions of grandeur or persecution
PsychastheniaObsession, compulsions, fears, guilt, indecisiveness
SchizophreniaBizzarre, unusual Thoughts or behaviour, withdrawal, hallucinations and delusions
HypomaniaEmotional excitement, flight of ideas, over activity.
Social introversionShyness, lack of interest in other, insecurity.

A set of statements is true or false about themselves in extent to whether they agree or disagree with various sentences which of a pair of activities they prefer. The subject has to classify these questions into three categories – True, False and Can’t say.

This inventory is used with adults who are 18 and above. The current inventory has 567 items all in true or false format and takes one or two hours to complete depending on their reading level. The chief criterion of validity was the prediction of clinical cases against the diagnosis of a hospital staff. There are four unusual scores obtained in addition to the diagnostic classification. These four are ‘validity scores’ (F), a Tie score’ (L), a ‘questions score’ and a K-score.

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