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4 Tutorials that teach Specific Personality Assessments
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Specific Personality Assessments

Specific Personality Assessments

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This lesson will give an overview of specific personality assessments; including the Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2nd Edition.

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Tutorial


What's Covered

This lesson is going to look at specific examples of assessments in two different groups:

  1. Objective Tests
  2. Projective Test


1. Objective Tests

Objective tests are tests that give the same scores, even when different people score them. They also give the same questions and measures for each person that takes these tests. One famous objective personality test is a personality questionnaire called the, Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory or MMPI, Version 2. This is a test that was first developed in the 1930s to '40s, and entered its second form in 1989.

Term to Know

  • Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (MMPI-2)
  • Objective test, most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests.

The MMPI is a self-report inventory, which is to say, it's a questionnaire that a person takes individually based on a list of questions. There are 567 different items or questions, and all of them are answered true or false. Within that test, there are 10 different scales that measure different aspects of personality like emotionality of the person, anxiety, or paranoia.

ExampleSome of the questions are: "I do not always tell the truth, true or false?”

The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI is another famous questionnaire that's based on Carl Jung's theories that measure a person based on four different personality scales, like introversion versus extroversion, to see where they fall within that rating.

From these four scales, it matches a person to one of the 16 different personality types to say what type of person they are.


2. Projective

Now besides objective tests, we also have what are called projective tests. These tests use ambiguous words or images to try to uncover unconscious thoughts or desires, and are focused on psychodynamic theories and the importance of the unconscious on our personalities.

The Rorschach inkblot test is a famous projective test that was created in 1921 by the Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. It’s one of the most commonly used today, and is generally used in conjunction with other ones.

Term to Know

  • Rorschach Inkblot Test
  • Projective test in which the evaluator presents "inkblots" to subject to assess personality, cognitive disorders, etc. 

People are shown 10 standard inkblot pictures, and they are asked what they see. The psychologist records what the person says as well as what the person does. It doesn't matter how important the person thinks it is. The psychologist records everything that they see and hear.

The psychologist is a lot less focused on the content of the people's answers. While it might be important if they talk about something especially violent, that isn't necessarily the focus of the psychologist.

The psychologists is more focused on the organization of the person's answers, so what parts they look at first or second. They are also focused on the determinant. So what triggered their answers? Was it the color? Was it the shape? These answers can give clues to the unconscious mind. Psychologists use a standardized scoring system to come up with responses about the person's personality. This something called the Exner Scoring System.

Another projective test that's very famous is the Thematic Apperception Test, or the TAT test, which is also a pictorial test. It was first created in the 1930s by two psychologists, Henry Murray and Christiana Morgan. In this test, a subject is shown a picture of a neutral kind of scene.

Term to Know

  • Thematic Apperception Test (T.A.T.)
  • Projective test in which the evaluator presents ambiguous scenes to subject to assess personality, motivation, achievement, defense mechanisms, etc.

There isn't anything that gives away necessarily how the people are thinking and feeling. And they're asked what happened before the scene, what's happening in the scene now, how the person is feeling or thinking, and what happens next after the scene. So basically, they're trying to create a story out of this one picture.

Scoring for the TAT is not necessarily as standardized as the Rorschach test. There are multiple systems that people use. Mainly, the systems are based on the needs, the motivations, and the anxieties of the characters within the story. What the person says this person might mean how they are feeling.


Summary

Objective tests are tests that give the same even when different people score them, and give the same questions and measure to people who take them. Examples of objective tests are the MMPI Version 2 or the MBT. 

Projective tests use ambiguous words or images to try to uncover the unconscious thoughts or desires. Examples of projective tests are the Rorschach Inkblot test and the TAT test.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Erick Taggart.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Rorschach Inkblot Test

    Projective test in which the evaluator presents "inkblots" to subject to assess personality, cognitive disorders, etc.

  • Thematic Apperception Test (T.A.T.)

    Projective test in which the evaluator presents ambiguous scenes to subject to assess personality, motivation, achievement, defense mechanisms, etc.

  • Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (MMPI-2)

    Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (MMPI-2) Objective test, most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests.