Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2


Minnesota Multiphasic Personality inventory-2 is a revised second edition psychological assessment instrument scored and interpreted by the examiner and completed by the person who is being examined. It involves examining the personal characteristics of the person taking the test. In this situation, the examiner compares the answers given by the person taking the test and with the results got from different psychiatric and non-psychiatric groups.

Through this procedure, the examiner can tell the personality traits of the person taking the test. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality inventory-2 is more preferred as compared to the first Minnesota Multiphasic Personality inventory because it provides a more and a wider representative group within the community comparison group. As a result, the original version of this account has been misplaced by the publisher and is only used by few institutions.

Generally, Minnesota Multiphasic personality inventory can be defined as a test usually used to collect information concerning personality, attitudes, and mental health especially of the people aged between the ages of sixteen and above so that a diagnosis on their clinical health can be conducted (Graham et al, 1999, 39).


The Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 was mainly designed to evaluate the number of major patterns of personality, behavioral and emotional disorders. It is useful in the willpower of the approval of requirements through the provision of internal checks (Susana, 1997, 156).

The composition of the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory is known to be approximately five hundred and sixty-seven true or false items. The administration of Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory can be based on the response made through a computer, printed test booklet, or a handwritten answer sheet.

This mainly applies to those respondents with enough reading skills and those with complete visual use or capability. However, for the respondents with visual impairment and those with limited reading skills the administration can be done in audiotapes (Butcher, 2005, 234).

Minnesota Multiphasic personality inventory-2 is mainly used to find out more about the respondent but not used as an educational examination with incorrect and accurate answers. The test items in this test are not arranged in topic form or classified into specific areas of study. Personality research together with the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2 has led to the discovery of certain traits and behaviors.

The administration of Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is preferred to be in the group as opposed to a measure of evaluation which is based on isolation. A full evaluation of a particular individual should involve the completion of sentences or a similar test but concerning the functioning of the mind (McCrae, Robert & Paul, 1987, 87).

Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is made up of 3 validity scales plus ten clinical scales. The validity scales are the TRIN, VRIN, and the F back scale. The other clinical scales include scale one which is concerned with physical problems and other complaints related to hostility.

On the second scale, depression focuses on matters related to moods or attitudes. For example feelings of depression, unhappiness, hopelessness, and withdrawal. Scale three is referred to as hysteria and it deals with patients with hysterical reactions. Such patients in most cases tend to avoid responsibility as a result of stress accompanied by headaches, stomach pains, and pains in the chest.

Scale four of the clinical scales, psychopathic deviate deals with the patients who find it difficult to conform to the societal values and norms. Such patients have problems with relationships as they cannot obey the authority. They tend to be underachievers, poor planners, are egocentric, and show childish behaviors.

Scale five, masculinity-femininity was formally meant to identify homosexual males. It is associated with male patients who tend to involve themselves with female activities for example house chores and childrearing duties. Such men lack interest in artistic, aesthetic, and masculine interests. Females however tend to shun female roles and take on sports, hobbies, and other activities that are male-oriented. Scale six refers to paranoia and is designed to identify patients with excess sensitivity.

Psychasthenia is the seventh scale and is concerned with the patient’s thoughts and especially those related to doubts. They exhibit fatigue, exhaustion, physical problems, agitation, lack self-confidence, and develop some unreasonable fears. The eighth scale is schizophrenia which also handles thought disorder but about the patient’s attitudes, confusion, disorientation, and disorganization. The patients can sometimes be so stubborn, moody though at times they are peaceful and generous.

Scale nine is called hypomania and it identifies problems related to moods like irritation, depression, speech problems, and motor activity. The patients with these problems tend to be outgoing, friendly, social, pleasant, and self-confident but may sometimes be anxious, nervous, and feel dissatisfied.

The last scale is scale 0 which is known as social introversion. This involves patients who tend to have a feeling of discomfort and insecurity in different social situations. Such patients are usually very shy, reserved, and timid. They are identified as passive distant, cold and worried. However, those who are converted tend to be talkative, outgoing, and friendly (Graham, 2000, 243).


A psychologist Hathaway and a psychiatrist McKinley at the University of Minnesota founded Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory in the late 1930s. The two intended Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 to facilitate the analysis and the treatment of psychiatric problems.

In the periods between the 1940s and 1980s, the original version of the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory was mainly used and acted as a research instrument for psychologists in the United States as well as other parts of the world. In 1943 through a process called ’empirical keying,’ the first test was developed.

During this time, they had over a thousand questions, which they produced from friends, colleagues, hospital staff, and others collected from other personality questionnaires, which had earlier been used (Williams1999). Friends and family members of the patients, who were in the hospital then, mainly used these questions.

Before the development of the original Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory, the test designer assumed that the evaluation tools and the tasks involved were real in examining the behaviors and the characteristics of the client under consideration. The inventors of the original Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory had to come up with several true or false questions to develop the empirical keying (Butcher, & Williams, 1999, 347).

The urge to tip out the variation amid the two assessments called for research that involved medical inpatients, students, visitors in the hospitals, and different groups of psychiatric patients.

The main reason why the Minnesota multiphasic test was developed was to be used as a personality test to identify psychiatric problems. Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory was however revised in 1989 and the new version Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 was given a new abbreviation as MMPI-2. During this time a new version for adolescents was given and was abbreviated as MMPI-A.

Psychometric qualities

The Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2 was mainly designed to be used by adults and the version MMPI-A was designed to be used by adolescents. The standardization of the Minnesota multiphasic -2 was done in the early 1980s whereby some items were removed while others were rephrased and even new items added.

The reliability and the validity of the MMPI-2 mainly depend on the reliability and the validity of the original MMPI. The MMPI-2 test has been confirmed since it measures what exactly it is intended to measure. For reliability, the test-retest method was used as a means of confirmation. The validity and the reliability of the MMPI-2 have therefore been confirmed to be doing well just like the original MMPI.

Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory does point out different psychiatric circumstances using the ten different clinical scales that it has which are referred to be usually by number to avoid confusion and arguments. In addition, there are three validity scales, which are mainly used to detect fake, results from different individuals (Donald1991).

The VRIN scale is mainly designed to measure the patterns of response of variables. Pairs of items that make it to ask the same question. It is designed to give the number of conflicting responses. When the scores are high then it shows an indication of inconsistent patterns of response (McFarland, Lynn & Ann, 2000, 813).

The TRIN scale is a measure of the true response patterns. It is made up of pairs and the answers given in each pair should not be similar to ensure consistency. Unlike VRIN, it counts the number of true responses. Where the respondent is not willing to confess his or her problems there will be a low score as the individual will be giving false answers to most questions.

However, where an individual is willing to admit his or her problems the score will be high as the individual will be giving true answers to most of the questions.

Nevertheless, when the scores in either of the cases are extreme, the validity of the test will be doubted. The last validity scale, the F back scale does not cover the whole test but only contains items in the second half of the test. This implies that the F scale covers items in the first half of the test while the F back scale covers the items on the last or the second half of the question (Butcher et al, 1989, 456).

Reliability determines the degree to which a test measures the consistency of the test when administered by different people to the same group under similar situations. Evaluating the reliability of a test is very important for a proper selection.

Information concerning the reliability of the basic scales of MMPI-2 was based on the test-retest method. Reliability from the current study has mainly been used to characterize the reliability estimates that had previously been reported in association with each instrument. The test results however show that the study instruments do not reflect a standard level of reliability for the research or clinical situation.

Test uses

Minnesota multiphasic inventory-2 on the traits is most commonly used by professionals in mental health to evaluate and analyze mental illness. Apart from clinical psychology Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 has been used in other fields like in legal cases such as criminal defense and custody arguments. Other than legal cases, it is also used in certain professionals for instrument screening particularly in jobs involving high risk (Barrick, Murray & Michael, 1991, 23).

The MMPI-2 helps in evaluating those participating in drug abuse programs so that suitable treatment advances can be made. Another use of the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 was to identify people who could appropriately fit in the positions of the public with high-risk safety.

Apart from the two uses, MMPI-2 is used in the provision of valuable insight for marriage and family counseling. Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is also used to evaluate the main symptoms relating to personal and social maladjustment. It is used in the support of college and career counseling recommendations.

In addition, MMPI-2 is used in the evaluation of medical patients and devising for the patient’s effective strategies for treatment and managing chronic pain. Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is important in sustaining verdict, behavior, and justice. Finally, Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory offers a strong pragmatic basis for the specialist indication.

An analysis of the check

The test is recognized as one of the best psychological tools. Of all the psychological tools used by American psychologists, MMPI-2 has continuously received recognition as one of the best.

Apart from being the test, which is mostly researched, Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is one of the tests with the highest number of published articles, books, and chapters (Keyser & Sweetland, 1994, 126). Because nothing has ever been perfect, Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory has both strengths and weaknesses. However, when it is appropriately used, it turns out to be a very precious tool (Butcher, 2002, 54).

The strength of the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory is the presence of the validity scales, which are, included in the test questions. This is important as it helps detect the fake responses given by the respondents (Butcher & Williams, 1992, 23).

The Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 enables the evaluator to examine whether the respondent honestly and openly answers the questions or whether the respondent tries to overstate or hide the information. This is made easier because the items in Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory are randomly scattered.

Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is effective because it does not work alone but rather continues the work that was started by the original Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory, which was developed in 1989. In addition, it compares its results with the results of the original MMPI. Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is based on a wider and more cultural and racial diversity normative community comparison group as compared to the original Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory.

In addition, Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 encourages an intensified research on the behaviors and traits that are related to the scores. This is important as it encourages an improved accuracy in determining the characteristics and the behaviors of the respondent from the test results are given.

Nevertheless, Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 has some weaknesses. Even though it is known to be able to produce widespread information concerning a patient or client the MMPI-2 cannot replace the clinical interview. For instance, through an interview, the person administering the test can be able to come up with conclusions that mainly reflect the different suggestions reflected in the client’s test results. In addition, through interviews, significant information concerning the behaviors of the client can be identified even if they are not replicated in the test results.

The administration of Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2 involves some precautious measures that must be observed before the actual process of administration is undertaken. For instance, for it to be administered, trained and qualified clerical staff or those trained by computer must be involved.

Apart from the administrator being trained, he or she must meet the person who is going to take the test before giving him or her, the test to set up the framework and offer some encouragement. This is important for it assures the achievement of the best results.

The use of Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory is so demanding and complicated that it requires highly qualified personnel in every field. Although the response from the test requires interpretation, it cannot be interpreted by anybody but rather by a qualified professional in mental health in addition to being a postgraduate in education particularly in the psychological evaluation as well as special education in the of the inventory.

The use of computer in producing scores and generating suggestions on the test is so complicated and require the use of specific and highly regarded software programs (Butcher et al, 1997, 238). Besides reports from the test generated through the use of a computer can only be assessed and edited by the on-site professional so that the report can be left in the hands of an individual. Nevertheless, these reports are very important in the use of the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory.

Purpose of the test

Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is a test carried out mainly so that the administrator can come up with some conclusions concerning the traits, characteristics, and behaviors of the client as well the client’s way of thinking using the test results. From the test results, the examiner can know the major problems in treating the patient after identifying the seriousness of the client’s impairment, the mood of the client, how the client view life situation, how he or she considers solving problems, and the available diagnoses.

Additionally, the use of Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 involves various settings involving a variety of procedures. In legal cases, MMPI-2 is used in examining the mental health of the defender by the witnesses and especially in cases involving criminal acts. Examination of people seeking employment in different fields, as well as educational counseling, also involves the use of MMPI-2.

Other purposes of Minnesota personality inventory-2 involve the evaluation of the number of the main patterns of personality and emotional disorders. The revision of the original MMPI which resulted in a new version of MMPI-2 has facilitated the work of the clinical and research to identify the labels of their patients’ diagnostic levels.

Despite being almost the same length, the new version of the MMPI-2 differs very much from the original version of MMPI. This is due to changes that were made to the MMPI-2 which included altering some items, removing some, and modifying others. The alterations were done to replace the obsolete language with the contemporary language.

Psychological and neuropsychologists have currently been faced with a challenging but very important task of seeking to find consistent and suitable methods of identifying misrepresentation and laziness. In this situation the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory becomes beneficial as through its studies, reports are provided which emphasize the significant methodological issues which are in most cases observed in research and are used to identify laziness.

The use of Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 has been beneficial to those giving jobs, employees as well as job seekers. The use of some MMPI-2 may help employers to recruit the best job seekers as some of these items may prove repulsive to some job applicants. Businesses and organizations however use these items to evaluate the personal traits of those applying for the jobs and the traits of the employees.

From the psychological basis Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 evaluates the behaviors of the normal adult populations. The areas of evaluation include sociability, understanding, responsibility, and authority (Gardner, William & Mark, 1996, 68).

The score in inventory may at times be manual or computerized. Tests involving true or false statements are usually arranged after the score according to their level of validity, content, and clinical scales. At the end of the scores, the distinction between the responses given by the clients and those attained by the representative community comparison are obtained by rearranging the scores of the test takers scale and marked on a profile form (McNulty, Graham & Porath, 1998, 405).

The administrator compares the choices made by the people taking the test and those made by a large community representative group. The results from studies involving both MMPI original and those from the MMPI-2 must not be excluded from the comparison. From this point, conclusions regarding the respondent can be made by the examiner through the analysis of his or her patterns of response. The analysis should be based on the level of validity, content, and clinical scales (Butcher et al, 1997, 76).

Other than the validity, content, and test results there are other scales that can be included in the interpretation of the test result by the examiner. These scales were created by the researchers and are meant for special purposes. They are often referred to as supplementary scales and include the addiction potential scale, Anxiety scale, and the Mac Andrews revised Alcoholism scale.

However using the scoring and interpretation algorithm, which is mostly used in the commercial database the administrator computerizes reporting which gives out the respondent’s behavioral supposition depending on the decision of the administrator.


The Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory -2 is generally a very important tool for measuring the personality, behaviors, and emotions of different persons. With its ten clinical scales, it has proved to be efficient as every clinical scale handles a separate set of patients with different disorders. The ten clinic MMPI-2 has three validity scales which help in ensuring that the test accurately measures what it purports to measure (Bradbeer 1999).

In addition, the reliability of the test has been proved and confirmation made that the test has been consistent in its evaluation. Nevertheless, the test has its weaknesses and strengths it is still very useful and its results are helpful to many organizations.

Due to its efficiency, validity, and reliability, MMPI-2 has proved to be one of the best tests and there is no doubt that its application will still be effective in the future. Future psychologists should embrace this test as the results have shown its ability to handle different personality, emotional and behavioral disorders.


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