What Is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)?

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a psychological test that evaluates and determines personality characteristics. It measures people’s mental health and provides evidence of mental disorders.

Who Should Take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)?

The MMPI test is mainly geared for testing individuals who are thought to have mental health disorders.

The MMPI-2 has nearly 600 questions in true or false form.

The MMPI-2-RF is a newer design and features just over 300 true or false questions. This version cuts the time to take the test in half—between one-half hour and about an hour. However, the MMPI-2 is generally used more because it has a larger research base, and it is more recognized by psychologists.

(For adolescents, the MMPI-A test is used.)

Why Is the MMPI Test Not Online?

The MMPI can only be administered and explained by psychologists who are educated on how to use it. This psychometric test is not found online, because it is considered an instrument that is protected.

During the time when an individual takes the test, the mental health professional is not involved. However, the therapist usually interviews the individual who will take the test beforehand. When the test is scored, the therapist completes a report that shows the results. These findings are interpreted in the framework of the individual’s history and present-day issues.

What Does the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) Measure?

The MMPI-2 includes 10 scales that are clinical. These scales gauge 10 classifications of abnormal behavior. In addition, there are four validity scales that gauge the individual’s attitude while taking the test, as well as if they answered the questions truthfully and accurately.

The MMPI-2’s clinical subscales are the outcome of how the individual answered specific questions in a certain way on the test. They include:

1) Hypochondriasis

This shows an assortment of unclear and general complaints regarding how the body is working. The complaints mostly center on the stomach and back areas, and they continue when there are medical tests that prove negative (or no problem exists). This subscale measures deteriorating physical health and stomach/intestine problems. (32 components are included in this section.)

2) Depression

This is measured and recognized by negative attitude and self-esteem, no belief in the future, and a broad unhappiness with life. (This scale includes 57 parts.)

3) Hysteria

There are five parts to the hysteria section. They include negative health (physically), being introverted, negativity, headaches, and being unstable/maladjusted. (This includes 60 components.)

4) Psychopathic deviate

This scale gauges being unable to cope with the normal demands of society, as well as the lack of significant happy times. The scale brings up grievances about the person’s family members and individuals who are in authority/control, as well as the person’s separation/indifference to others and in social settings. In addition, it notes the disinterest/apathy of the person. (The scale includes 50 items.)

5) Masculinity/Femininity

The measurement of a person’s interests in areas, such as jobs or enjoyable pastimes, what they like and don’t like, and their responses to situations. The measurement shows how strictly the individual adapts to the conventional/standard roles of males and females. (The scale includes 56 parts.)

6) Paranoia

This scale gauges the person’s emotions toward other people, ethical/moral thoughts that they are right, and the distrust of others. Several of the components on the scale are obviously psychotic, because they recognize that there are paranoid and delusional thoughts. (The sale contains 40 entries.)

7) Psychasthenia

The word psychasthenia had, in the past, meant what is currently known as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This is to measure the individual’s incapacity to stop certain thinking or conduct in spite of being maladjusted. This section looks at aberrant concerns or alarm; being critical of oneself; problems with thinking clearly and being focused; and having regret or remorse. (The scale includes 48 parts.)

8) Schizophrenia

The measurements on this scale are focused on strange thinking; odd ideas or understanding about things; withdrawing socially; dysfunctional/bad relationships with members of the family; problems with thinking and focusing and acting hastily; the absence of any hobbies, career, or activities; concerning attitude about how they feel about their self and their qualities; and problems with sexual activities. (There are 78 parts to this scale.)

9) Hypomania

This scale is geared to rating more mild amounts of pleasure that is described by euphoric but unpredictable mood; behavior of unintentionally and purposeless motions that come from mental anxiety, including pacing around, wringing hands, putting things in one pile and then moving them to another; and racing ideas that aren’t able to be stopped. This part of the test measures activity that is greater than what is thought of as normal in both behavior and thinking. (The scale includes 46 parts.)

10) Social introversion

This is the scale that rates how introverted or extroverted an individual is. The individual who is socially shy, doesn’t feel comfortable socializing, and usually backs out of any chance of social events and activities, has very little sociable ability and appears awkward, or likes to be solitary or just with a few friends. (The scale consists of 69 parts.)

Is the MMPI Valid?

If the individual who takes the test is dishonest or untruthful, the MMPI-2 is not an accurate rating of their psychopathology or behavior. For instance, some people embellish or withhold the behavior being examined.

The MMPI-2 includes validity scales that are created to find out the test taker’s feelings and behavior toward the test. The following are the four scales to measure the person’s approach toward the test:

  • Lie: This zeroes in on people who are intentionally trying not to answer the test truthfully.
  • F: This letter doesn’t mean anything, but it is used to find out abnormal ways of answering the components on the test.
  • Back F: The Back F doesn’t stand for anything; however, this only measures the last part of the test.
  • K: This is to find psychopathology in individuals who would usually show that they are in the normal range.