Details of the MMPI-2

Details of the MMPI-2

Product Summary

Relevant to a range of contemporary applications, the MMPI-2 instrument remains the most widely used and widely researched test of adult psychopathology. Used by clinicians to assist with the diagnosis of mental disorders and the selection of appropriate treatment methods, the MMPI-2 test continues to help meet the assessment needs of mental health professionals in an ever-changing environment.

Uses of the MMPI

The MMPI-2 test’s contemporary normative sample and extensive research base help make it the gold standard in assessment for a wide variety of settings. The test can be used to help:
1) Assess major symptoms of social and personal maladjustment.
2) Identify suitable candidates for high-risk public safety positions.
3) Give a strong empirical foundation for a clinician's expert testimony
4) Assess medical patients and design effective treatment strategies.
5) Evaluate participants in substance abuse programs and select appropriate treatment approaches.
6) Support college and career counseling recommendations.

Key Features

1) Descriptive and diagnostic information relevant to today's clients.
2) Tailored reports present interpretive information for specific settings.
3) Nationally representative normative sample.
4) Normative sample consists of 1,138 males and 1,462 females between the ages of 18 and 80 from several regions and diverse communities within the U.S.
5) Flexible administration and scoring. 

History and Development (from Wikipedia)


The original authors of the MMPI were Starke R. Hathaway, PhD, and J. C. McKinley, MD. The MMPI is copyrighted by the University of Minnesota. The standardized answer sheets can be hand scored with templates that fit over the answer sheets, but most tests are computer scored. Computer scoring programs for the current standardized version, the MMPI-2, are licensed by the University of Minnesota Press to Pearson Assessments and other companies located in different countries. The computer scoring programs offer a range of scoring profile choices including the extended score report, which includes data on the newest and most psychometrically advanced scales—the Restructured Clinical Scales (RC scales). The extended score report also provides scores on the more traditionally used Clinical Scales as well as Content, Supplementary, and other subscales of potential interest to clinicians. Use of the MMPI is tightly controlled for ethical and financial reasons. The clinician using the MMPI has to pay for materials and for scoring and report services, as well as a charge to install the computerized program.


The original MMPI was developed in 1939 (Groth Marnat, Handbook of Psychological Assessment, 2009) using an [criterion] keying approach, which means that the clinical scales were derived by selecting items that were endorsed by patients known to have been diagnosed with certain pathologies. The difference between this approach and other test development strategies used around that time was that it was atheoretical (not based on any particular theory) and thus the initial test was not aligned with the prevailing psychodynamic theories of that time. The atheoretical approach to MMPI development ostensibly enabled the test to capture aspects of human psychopathology that were recognizable and meaningful despite changes in clinical theories.
The MMPI had flaws of validity that could not be overlooked forever. The control group for its original testing consisted of a very narrow portion of the population, mostly young, white, married people from rural areas. The MMPI also faced problems with its terminology not being relevant to the population it was supposed to measure. Furthermore, it became necessary for the MMPI to measure a more diverse number of potential mental problems, such as "suicidal tendencies, drug abuse, and treatment-related behaviors."


The first major revision of the MMPI was the MMPI-2, which was standardized on a new national sample of adults in the United States and released in 1989.The new standardization was based on 2,600 individuals from a more representative background than the MMPI. It is appropriate for use with adults 18 and over. Subsequent revisions of certain test elements have been published, and a wide variety of subscales was also introduced over many years to help clinicians interpret the results of the original clinical scales. The current MMPI-2 has 567 items, all true-or-false format, and usually takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete depending on reading level. It is designed to require a sixth-grade reading level. There is an infrequently used abbreviated form of the test that consists of the MMPI-2's first 370 items. The shorter version has been mainly used in circumstances that have not allowed the full version to be completed (e.g., illness or time pressure), but the scores available on the shorter version are not as extensive as those available in the 567-item version. The original form of the MMPI-2 is the 3rd most frequently utilized test in the field of psychology, behind the most used IQ and achievement tests.


A version of the test designed for adolescents, the MMPI-A, was released in 1992. The MMPI-A has 478 items, with a short form of 350 items.


A new and psychometrically improved version of the MMPI-2 has recently been developed employing rigorous statistical methods that were used to develop the RC Scales in 2003. The new MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) has now been released by Pearson Assessments. The MMPI-2-RF produces scores on a theoretically grounded, hierarchically structured set of scales, including the RC Scales. The modern methods used to develop the MMPI-2-RF were not available at the time the MMPI was originally developed. The MMPI-2-RF builds on the foundation of the RC Scales, which are theoretically more stable and homogenous than the older clinical scales on which they are roughly based. Publications on the MMPI-2-RC Scales include book chapters, multiple published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and address the use of the scales in a wide range of settings. The MMPI-2-RF scales rest on an assumption that psychopathology is a homogenous condition that is additive.

Scales of the MMPI


Validity Scales

? - Cannot Say (reported as a raw score only, not plotted)
VRIN - Variable Response Inconsistency
TRIN - True Response Inconsistency
F - Infrequency
FB - Back F
FP - Infrequency–Psychopathology
FBS - Symptom Validity Scale
L - Lie
K - Correction
S - Superlative Self-Presentation
Superlative Self-Presentation Subscales
S1 - Beliefs in Human Goodness
S2 - Serenity
S3 - Contentment with Life
S4 - Patience/Denial of Irritability
S5 - Denial of Moral Flaws

Clinical Scales

1 Hs - Hypochondriasis
2 D - Depression
3 Hy - Hysteria
4 Pd - Psychopathic Deviate
5 Mf - Masculinity–Femininity
6 Pa - Paranoia
7 Pt - Psychasthenia
8 Sc - Schizophrenia
9 Ma - Hypomania
0 Si - Social Introversion

Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales

(Extended Score Report)
RCd - dem - Demoralization
RC1 - som - Somatic Complaints
RC2 - lpe - Low Positive Emotions
RC3 - cyn - Cynicism
RC4 - asb - Antisocial Behavior
RC6 - per - Ideas of Persecution
RC7 - dne - Dysfunctional Negative Emotions
RC8 - abx - Aberrant Experiences
RC9 - hpm - Hypomanic Activation

Clinical Subscales

D1 - Subjective Depression
D2 - Psychomotor Retardation
D3 - Physical Malfunctioning
D4 - Mental Dullness
D5 - Brooding
Hy1 - Denial of Social Anxiety
Hy2 - Need for Affection
Hy3 - Lassitude-Malaise
Hy4 - Somatic Complaints
Hy5 - Inhibition of Aggression
Pd1 - Familial Discord
Pd2 - Authority Problems
Pd3 - Social Imperturbability
Pd4 - Social Alienation
Pd5 - Self-Alienation
Pa1 - Persecutory Ideas
Pa2 - Poignancy
Pa3 - Naiveté
Sc1 - Social Alienation
Sc2 - Emotional Alienation
Sc3 - Lack of Ego Mastery, Cognitive
Sc4 - Lack of Ego Mastery, Conative
Sc5 - Lack of Ego Mastery, Defective Inhibition
Sc6 - Bizarre Sensory Experiences
Ma1 - Amorality
Ma2 - Psychomotor Acceleration
Ma3 - Imperturbability
Ma4 - Ego Inflation
Social Introversion Subscales
Si1 - Shyness/Self-Consciousness
Si2 - Social Avoidance
Si3 - Alienation – Self and Others

Content Scales

ANX - Anxiety
FRS - Fears
OBS - Obsessiveness
DEP - Depression
HEA - Health Concerns
BIZ - Bizarre Mentation
ANG - Anger
CYN - Cynicism
ASP - Antisocial Practices
TPA - Type A
LSE - Low Self-Esteem
SOD - Social Discomfort
FAM - Family Problems
WRK - Work Interference
TRT - Negative Treatment Indicators

Content Component Scales

Fears Subscales
FRS1 - Generalized Fearfulness
FRS2 - Multiple Fears
Depression Subscales
DEP1 - Lack of Drive
DEP2 - Dysphoria
DEP3 - Self-Depreciation
DEP4 - Suicidal Ideation
Health Concerns Subscales
HEA1 - Gastrointestinal Symptoms
HEA2 - Neurological Symptoms
HEA3 - General Health Concerns
Bizarre Mentation Subscales
BIZ1 - Psychotic Symptomatology
BIZ2 - Schizotypal Characteristics
Anger Subscales
ANG1 - Explosive Behavior
ANG2 - Irritability
Cynicism Subscales
CYN1 - Misanthropic Beliefs
CYN2 - Interpersonal Suspiciousness
Antisocial Practices Subscales
ASP1 - Antisocial Attitudes
ASP2 - Antisocial Behavior
Type A Subscales
TPA1 - Impatience
TPA2 - Competitive Drive
Low Self-Esteem Subscales
LSE1 - Self-Doubt
LSE2 - Submissiveness
Social Discomfort
SOD1 - Introversion
SOD2 - Shyness
Family Problems
FAM1 - Family Discord
FAM2 - Familial Alienation
Negative Treatment Indicators
TRT1 - Low Motivation
TRT2 - Inability to Disclose

Supplementary Scales

AGGR - Aggressiveness
PSYC - Psychoticism
DISC - Disconstraint
NEGE - Negative Emotionality/Neuroticism
INTR - Introversion/Low Positive Emotionality
Broad Personality Characteristics
A - Anxiety
R - Repression
Es - Ego Strength
Do - Dominance
Re - Social Responsibility
Generalized Emotional Distress
Mt - College Maladjustment
PK - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder–Keane
MDS - Marital Distress
Behavioral Dyscontrol
Ho - Hostility
O-H - Overcontrolled Hostility
MAC-R - MacAndrew–Revised
AAS - Addiction Admission
APS - Addiction Potential
Gender Role
GM - Gender Role – Masculine
GF - Gender Role – Feminine


The MMPI-2 normative samples consist of 1,138 males and1,462 females from diverse geographic regions and communities across the United States. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 80 were recruited for inclusion in the samples. The revised MMPI-2 Manual for Administration, Scoring and Interpretation describes the distributions of age, geographic location, ethnic origin, educational attainment, marital status, occupation, and income level in the male and female samples.

MMPI-2 Non-Gendered Norms

Non-gendered T scores appear in the Revised Personnel System, 3rd Edition Reports, the Reports for Forensic Settings, and the Extended Score Report. It is possible to suppress the non-gendered T scores in printing these reports. A test monograph covering the development and use of the non-gendered norms is available from the University of Minnesota Press and Pearson.

MMPI-2 Non-K-Corrected Norms

A profile of non-K-corrected T scores is available only in the Extended Score Report. It is provided in addition to the standard K-corrected Validity and Clinical Scales Profile. It is possible to suppress the non-K-corrected T scores when printing the Extended Score Report.

Fatih Rehberlik

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