The MMPI FAQ: Frequently asked Questions about the MMPI Test and results attempts to provide some unbiased answers to questions about the MMPI. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test explores the psychopathology of your personality.why it is used so extensively by employers.
MMPI FAQ: Questions and Answers
There are three main types of MMPI test: two for adults, and a third that is completed by teenagers.
- MMPI-2 – The MMPI-2 test contains a total of 567 questions, all of which require a true or false response. Although this is the oldest of the MMPI tests, it’s still the one used the most and is likely to be the one you are asked to complete. Candidates are expected to complete the test in 60 to 90 minutes.
- MMPI-2-RF – An updated version of the above test, the MMPI-2-RF was introduced in 2008. The number of questions is reduced to 338, but it still requires you to provide a true or false answer. The test is relatively easy if you answer the questions honestly. Candidates will have between 35 and 50 minutes to complete the test.
- MMPI-A – This has been designed specifically for use by teenagers to help to identify behavioural, social or personal problems. As it is aimed at those between 14 and 18 years of age, it’s probably not one that you will encounter during the recruitment process.
If you apply for a job in Government sectors in the USA, it’s likely that you will be asked to take one of the MMPI tests.
The MMPI-2 test is most often used in psychiatric assessments for inpatients and outpatients, though it is also used in a variety of non-clinical settings such as court cases and employment
When it is used in a non-clinical setting, such as during the recruitment process, it can be an effective tool to screen candidates for high-risk positions
The MMPI-2 test is also used for career counseling assessments.
Many of the questions contained within the test allow psychologists to understand how employees are likely to behave in their work environment. Employers in job areas that require mental and emotional stability and good judgment are important.
It is difficult to prepare for the MMPI Test as each time it is administered the operator is looking for different results. For a Job it might be emotional stability, for custody of your children it might be something else. The best way to prepare is to learn how to answer in a neural way so that you do not deviate from a ‘normal person’. You can get a ‘Appearing Normal Cheat Sheet‘ which allows unlimited practice to the MMPI-2 test online for a month.
The MMPI test is designed to assess multiple aspects of a persons personality. This assessment is much more clinical in nature than the average personality test and is built around 10 different clinical scales.
Each of these scales will assess a candidate’s predisposition to abnormal behaviors.
There are also four validity scales which evaluate how honest and accurate the candidate’s answers were.
The MMPI Test also measures how honest a person has been in their answers and presents this as a key component of the results
Scale 1 – Hypochondriasis (Hs)
Within this section, there are 32 questions that focus on how a candidate might perceive various complaints that relate to their health.
Scale 2 – Depression (D)
There are 57 questions in this section, which aim to evaluate whether the candidate is showing signs of clinical depression. This is indicated by signs that include hopelessness, low morale or a general level of dissatisfaction with life.
Scale 3 – Hysteria (Hy)
Through a series of 60 questions, this section is designed to identify people who are overly emotional or display hysteria in stressful situations.
Scale 4 – Psychopathic Deviate (Pd)
Over a total of 50 questions that make up this section, candidates are questioned about issues that relate to social maladjustment, rebelliousness and antisocial behavior. Candidates will be asked about issues they may have with family or authority figures.
Scale 5 – Masculinity/Femininity (Mf)
Through 56 questions, the Masculinity/Femininity scale explores how a candidate might conform to a masculine or feminine stereotype. It looks at activity-passivity, hobbies and career choices, and personal sensitivity.
Scale 6 – Paranoia (Pa)
This scale measures a candidate’s ability or inability to trust others. Through 40 questions, candidates will be questioned on issues such as levels of suspiciousness, self-righteousness and sensitivity. The method of questioning in this section will reveal any tendencies for paranoia or psychotic behavior.
Scale 7 – Psychasthenia (Pt)
The term ‘Psychasthenia’ has now been replaced by ‘Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’ (OCD). The test contains 48 questions which aim to evaluate the presence of certain obsessive tendencies as well as anxiety, fear, doubts and guilt.
Scale 8 – Schizophrenia (Sc)
The longest section in the test, candidates will need to progress through a total of 78 questions. During this section, candidates will be assessed for unusual cognitive, emotional and social tendencies that might suggest schizophrenia.
Scale 9 – Hypomania (Ma)
This scale has 46 questions and measures a candidate for elevated energy levels and unstable moods. Candidates will be asked about things that would indicate excitability, such as rapid thoughts, accelerated speech or restless body movements. It also covers elements such as irritability, narcissism or egocentricity.
The tenth and final category in the MMPI-2 test features 69 questions. The Social Introversion scale measures whether a candidate is comfortable around other people and in social situations. For example, introverts might be uncomfortable in large groups or over-stimulating social situations.
For deeper details see MMPI Test Results
In addition to the ten clinical scales, there are several validity scales.
Sometimes, even without realizing, candidates may answer questions based on what they think are supposed to be the right answers, rather than based on an honest analysis of themselves. The validity scales in the test aim to identify whether the candidate is being truthful in their answers or not.
The key validity scales found in the MMPI-2 test are:
This category aims to highlight anyone who is trying to sway the results of the test by answering the questions in a specific way.
There are 15 questions in this section that aim to identify whether the candidate is altering their answers to make themselves look better.
The ‘F’ scale is used to identify if the questions are being answered in an unusual or obscure way.
This will, for example, determine if the candidate is answering questions randomly.
There are 60 questions in the ‘F’ category which are scattered throughout the test.
Back F (Fb)
Containing a total of 40 questions, this will identify the same things as those in the F category but focuses on the second half of the test.
Questions in this category will identify defensiveness but in a subtler way than the ‘Lie’ category.
Outside of those who are well educated and in control of their lives, a high score can indicate that the candidate is being defensive.
There are 30 questions in this section.
Scales in the MMPI test are used to measure both clinical spectrums and the validity of a candidate’s answers.
Other Validity Scales
The question mark symbol is used to evaluate completeness and consistency. The ‘?’ will calculate the total number of questions that are left blank during the test.
Cause for concern should be raised when more than 30 of the questions are unanswered.
True Response Inconsistency (TRIN)
Some candidates can be quite strategic in their approach to the test, following a pattern such as fixed responding.
If the candidate uses this method, they will simply mark ten questions ‘true’ and then the following ten ‘false’.
This approach can mean that the candidate either doesn’t understand the test or is being defiant about being asked to complete it.
Variable Response Inconsistency (VRIN)
Consistency is one of the most important factors when completing the MMPI test. This scale will measure how consistent you are with your responses, identifying those that are inconsistent or even random.
For deeper details see MMPI Test Results
375 true-false Short Test
Very accurate which is why the test is used so often. When presenting the MMPI for the first time the authors stated The over-all hit rate for the entire sample was 71.4%, with a 68% hit rate for correctly identified patients with multiple personality.
The interruption of the MMPI 2 is called the MMPI-2 SCORE. Assigned to each question within the MMPI quiz is a base score of zero which will in total produce a mean score of around 50 for each of the scales being measured. Certain combinations of answers to the questions will add or minus 1 point of your score and at the end your final result is presented.
The score average is around 50 (The test will adjust averages for males and females and a few other different aspects) with a standard deviation of 10 points per deviation Thus, a score of 60 is one standard deviation above the mean, while a score of 30 is two standard deviations below the mean.
For further details read MMPI Scores: What do they Mean
There is no way to really Beat The MMPI as the test is designed to measure personality traits over a wide range of areas. When applying for a job with the Police, the test results looked for will be different from when applying for an Air Traffic controller position.
The best way to beat the MMPI is to take the test several times and evaluate the results based on the answers you give. With practice you can learn to answer in a way that will produce a desired result. You can do this for only $3.99 here
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is one of the most commonly used psychological tests in the United States. It’s primarily used to help mental health professionals assess and diagnose mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.
Although it is also promoted and used in Employment assessment and in Civil Court cases particularly for the custody of children.
The bottom-line is greed. The MMPI has been around for a long time and the owners and promoters of the MMPI test have done extensive work to entrench it into society. Psychologists who train in the MMPI are charged a lot to learn, and in turn charge $800 plus to administer the test and give the results.
With such a profitable market place, those who can administer the MMPI develop an over zealous attitude towards preserving the ability to administer the MMPI within the tight knit community of ‘Approved’ and trained individuals. Pearsons who own the MMPI rights for distribution, will not even make the tool available to Universities for free or at an affordable price.
Pearsons have even taken several people to court who have attempted to liberate the MMPI test and make it free or affordable.