Tuesday, May 13, 2014

MMPI Video Lectures - Validity and Clinical Scales

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Validity Scales

The validity scales in all versions of the MMPI-2 (MMPI-2 and RF) contain three basic types of validity measures: those that were designed to detect non-responding or inconsistent responding (CNS, VRIN, TRIN), those designed to detect when clients are over reporting or exaggerating the prevalence or severity of psychological symptoms (F, Fb, Fp, FBS), and those designed to detect when test-takers are under-reporting or downplaying psychological symptoms (L, K, S). A new addition to the validity scales for the MMPI-2-RF includes an over reporting scale of somatic symptoms scale (Fs).
AbbreviationNew in versionDescriptionAssesses
CNS1"Cannot Say"Questions not answered
L1LieClient "faking good"
F1InfrequencyClient "faking bad" (in first half of test)
Fb2Back FClient "faking bad" (in last half of test)
VRIN2Variable Response Inconsistencyanswering similar/opposite question pairs inconsistently
TRIN2True Response Inconsistencyanswering questions all true/all false
F-K2F minus Khonesty of test responses/not faking good or bad
S2Superlative Self-Presentationimproving upon K scale, "appearing excessively good"
Fp2F-PsychopathologyFrequency of presentation in clinical setting
Fs2-RFInfrequent Somatic ResponseOverreporting of somatic symptoms
Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Multiphasic_Personality_Inventory

Note - Another Version on Validity - more streamlined

The 4 Validity Scales

The MMPI-2 is not a valid measure of a person’s psychopathology or behavior if the person taking the test does so in a way that is not honest or frank. A person may decide, for whatever reasons, to overreport (exaggerate) or underreport (deny) the behavior being assessed by the test.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) contains four validity scales designed to measure a person’s test-taking attitude and approach to the test:
  • Lie (L) – The Lie scale is intended to identify individuals who are deliberately trying to avoid answering the MMPI honestly and in a frank manner. The scale measures attitudes and practices that are culturally laudable, but rarely found in most people. In other words, people who make these items are often trying to make themselves look like a better person than they really are (or that anybody is). The scale contains 15 items.
  • F – The F scale (the “F” does not stand for anything, although it is mistakenly sometimes referred to as the Infrequency or Frequency scale) is intended to detect unusual or atypical ways of answering the test items, like if a person were to randomly fill out the test. It taps a number of strange thoughts, peculiar experiences, feelings of isolation and alienation, and a number of unlikely or contradictory beliefs, expectations and self-descriptions. If a person answers too many of the F and Fb scale items incorrectly, it will invalidate the entire test. Contrary to some descriptions of the scale, F scale items are scattered throughout the entire test up until around item 360. The scale contains 60 items.
  • Back F (Fb) – The Back F scale measures the same issues as the F scale, except only during the last half of the test. The scale has 40 items.
  • K – The K scale is designed to identify psychopathology in people who otherwise would have profiles within the normal range. It measures self-control, and family and interpersonal relationships, and people who score highly on this scale are often seen as being defensive. The scale contains 30 items.
There are additional content and validity scales that have been developed independently from the core MMPI, but often scored by a psychologist who is administering the test. This article describes only these core scales used in the MMPI-2.


Clinical Scales

The MMPI has 10 clinical scales that are used to indicate different psychological conditions. Despite the names given to each scale, they are not a pure measure since many conditions have overlapping symptoms. Because of this, most psychologists simply refer to each scale by number.


10 Scales of the MMPI

The MMPI has 10 clinical scales that are used to indicate different psychological conditions. Despite the names given to each scale, they are not a pure measure since many conditions have overlapping symptoms. Because of this, most psychologists simply refer to each scale by number.
Scale 1 – Hypochondriasis: This scale was designed to asses a neurotic concern over bodily functioning. The 32-items on this scale concern somatic symptoms and physical well being. The scale was originally developed to identify patients displaying the symptoms of hypochondria.
Scale 2 – Depression: This scale was originally designed to identify depression, characterized by poor morale, lack of hope in the future, and a general dissatisfaction with one's own life situation. Very high scores may indicate depression, while moderate scores tend to reveal a general dissatisfaction with one’s life.
Scale 3 – Hysteria: The third scale was originally designed to identify those who display hysteria in stressful situations. Those who are well educated and of a high social class tend to score higher on this scale. Women also tend to score higher than men on this scale.
Scale 4 - Psychopathic Deviate: Originally developed to identify psychopathic patients, this scale measures social deviation, lack of acceptance of authority, and amorality. This scale can be thought of as a measure of disobedience. High scorers tend to be more rebellious, while low scorers are more accepting of authority. Despite the name of this scale, high scorers are usually diagnosed with a personality disorder rather than a psychotic disorder.
Scale 5 – Masculinity/Femininity: This scale was designed by the original author’s to identify homosexual tendencies, but was found to be largely ineffective. High scores on this scale are related to factors such as intelligence, socioeconomic status, and education. Women tend to score low on this scale.
Scale 6 – Paranoia: This scale was originally developed to identify patients with paranoid symptoms such as suspiciousness, feelings of persecution, grandiose self-concepts, excessive sensitivity, and rigid attitudes. Those who score high on this scale tend to have paranoid symptoms.
Scale 7 – Psychasthenia: This diagnostic label is no longer used today and the symptoms described on this scale are more reflective of obsessive-compulsive disorder. This scale was originally used to measure excessive doubts, compulsions, obsessions, and unreasonable fears.
Scale 8 – Schizophrenia: This scale was originally developed to identify schizophrenic patients and reflects a wide variety of areas including bizarre thought processes and peculiar perceptions, social alienation, poor familial relationships, difficulties in concentration and impulse control, lack of deep interests, disturbing questions of self-worth and self-identity, and sexual difficulties. This scale is considered difficult to interpret.
Scale 9 – Hypomania: This scale was developed to identify characteristics of hypomania such as elevated mood, accelerated speech and motor activity, irritability, flight of ideas, and brief periods of depression.
Scale 0 – Social Introversion: This scale was developed later than the other nine scales as is designed to assess a person’s tendency to withdraw from social contacts and responsibilities.