Apersonality test is basically the instruments that are standardizedor questionnaire created to ascertain the psychological makeup or thecharacter of an individual. These tests were discovered during late1920s solely to provide an efficient means of selection of personnelmainly the armed forces. There are several types of personality testsbut only two tests will be discussed in this paper. These are: TheCalifornia Psychological Inventory (CPI) and The MinnesotaMultiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) tests (Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013).
TheCalifornia Psychological Inventory (CPI)
TheCalifornia Psychological Inventory (CPI) comprises a self-reportinventory developed by Harrison Gough. This test was initiallypublished in the year 1956 and the last edition was done in the year1987. Its composition is similar to that of the Minnesota MultiphasicPersonality Inventory (MMPI) both sharing 194 items. CPI is focusedto test the daily folk concepts that normal individuals can utilizeto evaluate the behavior of people around them (Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013). This test is composed of 434true-false questions, 194 of these questions are sourced from theinitial version of the MMPI. CPI is assessed on 18 scales, with threeof them making up the validity scales. In the non-validity scales,eleven are chosen by comparing the different responses by groups ofpeople. The remaining four were then assessed as valid based on itscontent. But on the contrary, these developments were not designedusing factor analysis and as a result these scales possess similarconcepts and are mostly inter-correlated (Lauster,1976).
These18 scales are categorized further into four different divisions. These are: the test of ascendancy, interpersonal adequacy and poisesecondly, the tests of responsibility, character, socialization andintrapersonal values thirdly, the test of intellectual efficiencyand achievement potential and fourth division is the test ofinterest modes and intellectual modes (Hoffman, 2001). These scalesgive an in-depth exposition of themes of personality which are viewedmainly to be cross-cultural and clearly understood globally. It istherefore, apparent that these tests display the personality factorsusually common except some view cases occurring to a given degree inall individuals beyond the restriction of culture. This indicates theindividuals comparative stable features and characteristics, thuselucidates their unique personality.
Thistest is usually used with individuals aged 13 years and above. Tocarry out this test, the process involved takes approximately 45-60minutes. The current edition of the CPI makes provision that requiresfalse and true answers from the patient to be converted with an extracost into raw scale and scores which are appropriately standardizedby the publisher. The publisher in turn is required to offer awritten report with the analysis.
Therelationship between CPI scales and its related external criteriaoften is given in the ranges of .2 to .5.This level of comparisonrepresent the normal standard mostly used for personality research.Considerable higher correlations cannot be easily attained forpersonality tests because the normal assessments of these scales arefocused on more general behavioral tendencies.
Thedifferent types of norms are present that can be used by femalesonly, males only and joint male/female data. CPI has been a widelyused test in current research for individual assessments of adultsand adolescents (Lauster, 1976). Bearing in mind that this waslargely normed and initiated on non-psychiatric populations has madeit termed universal owing to its usefulness and good reputation amongpsychologists (Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013).
TheMinnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
TheMinnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the bestpersonality test instrument which is popular and mostly used. It hasbeen widely researched and accepted psychometric test used for adultpsychopathology and personality (Lauster, 1976). There are differentversions of MMPI which are used by the psychologists and other mentalhealth professionals to provide differential diagnosis create thebest possible treatment plans assess job candidates during thepersonal selection process utilize as a component of therapeuticassessment procedures assist answer legal questions (Hoffman, 2001).
Theearlier MMPI that was initially published in the year 1943 was latermodified in 1989 to an updated version referred to as the MMPI-2. In1992, another edition for adolescents was developed called MMPI-A.And the last edition was done in 2008 to give a better version of thetest called MMPI-2 restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF)(Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013). This edition maintains several aspectsof the original MMPI test strategy, but significantly differs in thatit uses a different theoretical approach to personality testdevelopment (Cohen, Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013).
Thistest is counted as the gold standard for testing different types ofpersonalities from the time it was incorporated as a major assessmentof adult personality structure and psychopathology. To improve itsassessment credential the test has undergone several modificationsover the years such as the introduction of a number of validity,supplemental and other additional content scales to increase theanalysis of the traditional scales (Lauster, 1976).
MMPI-2is used to test adults of 18 years and above. This test has beencalibrated with 567 items which at most cases can take approximately1 to 2 hours to process according to the level reading in use. Inlight of the manner with which this test is operated, it is createdin such a way uses a six-grade reading level. This MMPI is rankedthird in the discipline of psychology behind the achievement and IQtests which are mostly used (Hoffman, 2001). MMPI-A version wasdeveloped to target adolescents of 14 to 18 years in the 1992. Thiswas initiated in order to boosts personality test and addresses thedifficulties of behavior among the adolescents.
TheMMPI-A contains 478 items that is composed of 10 clinical scales, soxvalidity scales, 31 Harris Lingoes subscales, 15 content componentsscales, the personality psychopathology five scales , three socialintroversion subscales and six supplementary scales(Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013) . This version of scale addresses theproblem of earlier version which provided inadequate content of theyouth, insufficient norms for the youth and a challenge of heightenedreporting. For instance, most of the information was given withminimal perspective from youth but rather from adult perspective andlargely neglected adolescents crucial contents.
Themost recent edition entails MMPI-2-RF, which is the improved type ofthe MMPI-2, introduced in 2008.It utilizes integrated statisticalmethods and was made by the Pearson Assessments (Lauster, 1976). Thisversion gives theoretically grounded scores which are structuredhierarchically with some set of scales such as the RC scales.
Differencesbetween the two assessments
Thoughthe two assessments were created in the same manner, having 194 itemsin common, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)differs considerably from the California Psychological Inventory(CPI). While MMPI measurement is concerned with the clinicaldiagnosis CPI was created mainly to test the daily concepts thatordinary individuals uses to depict the behavior of the people. TheCPI test is composed of only one type, that is the modern thirdedition which has 434 items while on the other hand, the MMPI is madeof three types, MMPI-2, MMPI-A and MMPI-2-RF (Cohen,Swerdlik & Sturman, 2013). Therefore, MMPI makes a betterassessment tool because it can be used specifically depending on theage of the individuals to be assessed. The versatile nature of MMPIthus helps provide the best possible results with much reduced errorscompared with CPI.
CPIprovides essential information regarding particular maladjustmentsexperienced by an individual which is a positive coverage whencompared with MMPI test which is inclined to the pathologicalaspects. This makes CPI the best personality test instrument when onewould like to assess the bigger spectrum of individual traits. Inaddition, the CPI possesses direct scale names that make it easy tounderstand especially by the professionals who are inexperienced oruntrained. This differs significantly with MMPI test which has a bitmore complicated scale names and thus is not friendly to poorlytrained or inexperienced professionals (Lauster, 1976).
Concerningthe duration of assessments, the CPI offers an appealing option inthat, it used to predict and indicate the short- and long-termbehaviors in comparison with the MMPI test that is not appropriatefor future predictions. Many cultures do not identify easily with theMMPI test because it somehow clash with those cultures, hence its usehas been restricted. On the other hand, CPI has many concepts thatare present in many societies and cultures hence makes it highlightedadapted method (Hoffman, 2001).
Cohen,R., Swerdlik, M., & Sturman, E. (2013). Psychological testing andassessment. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Hoffman,E. (2001). Ace the corporate personality test. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lauster,P. (1976). The personality test. Radnor, Pa: Chilton Book Co.