Chapter 8(B).docx

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19 Apr 2012
Psychological Assessment
Chapter 8(B)
- Two approaches have dominated the field when assessing personality: unstructured and
structured. Unstructured methods such as the Rorschach, TAT and sentence completion blanks.
In contrast, structured approaches are self-report inventories and behaviour rating scales.
- Whereas only a handful of unstructured has ever risen to distinction, the number of structured
instruments for assessment has grown exponentially structured approaches are considered
objective as contrasted with projective
- Contemporary psycho-etricians have relied mainly upon three tactics for personality test
development; theory bounded approaches, factor analytic approaches and criterion-key
Theory-Guided Inventories
- Theory-guided inventories are designed around a pre-existing theory
- Theory-guided inventories stand in contrast to factor-analytic approaches which often produce a
retrospective theory based upon initial test findings. They also differ from the criterion-key
methods because they lack the empirical evidence
- “The personality research form” is a true-false inventory based loosely on Murray’s theory of
manifest needs (TAT). However, this test expanded the number of needs and produced several
forms for assessment thus creating many more personality trait items
- The “Jenkins activity survey” is a multiple-choice, self-report questionnaire designed to identify
the Type A coronary-prone behaviour pattern. It also identifies Speed and Impatience, Job
Involvement and Competitiveness
Factor-Analytically Derived Inventories
- “Eysenck personality questionnaire” was designed to measure the major dimensions of normal
and abnormal personality. Eysenck isolated three major dimensions of personality;
Psychoticism, Extraversion and Neuroticism. The EPQ consists of scales to measure these
dimensions and also incorporates a Lie scale to assess the validity of an examinee’s responses
- “Comrey personality scale” is a short self-report inventory mostly tested on college students. A
special virtue of the CPS is its shortness.
Criterion-Keyed Inventories
- In a criterion-keyed approach, test items are assigned to a particular scale if, and only if, they
discriminate between a well defined criterion group and a relevant control group
- “Minnesota Mutliphasic Personality Inventory” became the most widely used personality test
used in the United States. The most serious problem was the original control group, which
consisted primarily of relatives and visitors of medical patients was a narrow choice of control
subjects. Also another problem was that they were all white, and most were young, married and
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from a small town or rural area. The item content of the MMPI also raised concerns because it
used obsolete terminology, Christian religious beliefs and sexual behaviour references. From the
standpoint of measurement, a more serious problem with item content was that of omission, it
missed many important characteristics including, suicidal tendencies, drug abuse and treatment-
related behaviours. With the new MMPI many of the items were re-written but most of these
revisions are cosmetic and do not affect the psychometric characteristics of the test.
- There are four validity scales, known as Cannot Say, L, F and K. The Cannot Say score is simply
the total number of items omitted or double-marked in completion of the answer sheet. The L
scale is composed of 15 items all scored in the false direction. By answering false to L scale
items, the examinee asserts that he or she possesses a degree of personal virtue that is rarely
observed in our culture. The f scale consist of 60 items answered by normal subjects in the
scored direction no more than 10 percent of the time. These items indicate psychiatric
disturbance. The K scale was designed to help detect a subtle form of defensiveness. The
combined use of F and K may be useful in detection of MMPI profiles that have been faked or
- In addition to the validity scales, the MMPI is always scored for 10 clinical scales; Table 8.8 ,pg
- The interpretation of the MMPI can proceed along two different path; scale by scale or
configural. Scale by scale, the examiner determines the validity of the test by inspecting the four
validity scales. The configural approach is more complicated and consists of classifying the
profile as belonging to one or another loosely defined code type that has been studied
extensively. Code types are usually defined by a combination of elevation of any two clinical
scales and these scales standing out from the others.
- A shortcoming of the MMPI is that intercorrelations among clinical scales are extremely high
which reflects that there is item overlap
- The ``MCMI-III`` has two advantages over the MMPI. First it is much shorter and it is planned
and organized to identify clinical patterns in a manner that is compatible with the DSM. A
special feature was the use of general psychiatric patients instead of normal controls as the
reference group. The purpose of this strategy was to enhance the capacity of MCMI scales to
differentiate specific diagnostic groups from one another, however this caused item overlap,
which then led to the creation of the item-weighing procedure
Behavioural Assessment
- Behavioural assessment concentrates on behaviour itself rather than on underlying traits or
presumed dimensions of personality
- Behaviour assessment strategies tend to be simple, direct, behaviour analytic and continuous
with treatment
- A new form of behavioural assessment known as ecological momentary assessment has become
increasingly popular. In this assessment, the client carries a wireless handheld device similar to a
personal digital assistant and responds in real time to preplanned inquiries from the researcher
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