Personality Testing and Assessments

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Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by Atif

Comorbidity is referred to as the co-occurrence of two or more disorders in the same individual. For instance, if an individual is diagnosed with both major depressive disorder (MDD) and Social anxiety disorder (SAD), they are said to have comorbid. It can include the co-occurrence of both psychiatric and medical illnesses.

Personality testing and assessments can be defined as techniques designed to measure traits people exhibit across various situations. These tests can guide therapeutic interventions and help predict how individuals may respond in some instances, and aid clinical diagnosis. 

There are various psychological tests available. Personality tests and assessments are valuable to clinicians, employers, researchers, clinicians, and employers. These tests can help determine an individual’s specific traits and characteristics to understand them better. Better communication, discussions and long-lasting relationships are possible when an individual has an insight into others’ personality. Personality assessments can create a better treatment plan to understand the individual’s personality. 

The use of personality evaluations and assessments is employed in treatment plans. This helps therapists and psychologist give a proper review of an individual’s personality. 

Types of Personality Assessments

The American Psychological Association stated that Personality assessments involve the scoring, administration, and interpretation of “empirically supported measures of personality traits and styles” to inform and structure interventions, increase the accuracy of behavioural prediction in various context and settings, and refine the clinical diagnosis. These Personality tests are specifically designed to identify specific characteristics of one’s personality and an overall picture of the person. Well, known tests like the Rorschach Inkblot test and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) are two such assessments that can benefit the psychologist and the individual.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

This is a psychological test that assesses psychopathology and personality traits. MMPI-2 is primarily intended to test individuals suspected of having mental health disorders or other clinical issues. There are different forms of MMPI-2. The MMPI-2 contains 567true/false questions. The MMPI-2-RF contains 338 true/incorrect items. However, MMPI-2 is still the more widely used form because of its familiarity among psychologists and large research base.

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is a protected psychological instrument, which can only be given and interpreted by a psychologist.

The MMPI-2 contains ten clinical subscales which assess four validity scales (which assess the individual’s general test-taking attitude and whether the test is answered accurately) and ten major categories of abnormal human behaviour. The ten medical subscales include social introversion, major depression, megalomania, neurosis, psychopathic deviate, panic attack, masculinity/femininity, hallucinosis, and psychasthenia. The four validity scales of MMPI are :

  • F: This scale is intended to detect unusual ways of answerings the test items. If a person answers too many F and Fb scale items wrongly, it will invalidate the whole test.
  • Lie: This scale identifies individuals who purposely try to avoid answering the MMPI truthfully. The Lie scale measures attitudes and practices that are culturally commendable; this is rarely found in most individuals. This means that individuals who make these items often try to make themselves look like a better person than they are. This scale contains fifteen items.
  • K: This scale is designed to identify psychopathology in individuals who otherwise would have profiles within the normal range. It measures family, interpersonal relationships and self-control. Individuals who score highly on this scale are often seen as defensive. The scale contains thirty items.
  • Back F: This scale measures the same issues as the F scale, except only during the last half of the test. The scale contains forty items.

Rorschach Inkblot Test

This is a type of projective psychological test often utilized to assess emotional and personality functioning. Inkblot test is the second most used forensic test after MMPI-2.

How the Rorschach Inkblot Test Works:

  • It is essential to understand what the test consists of and how it is administered.
  • This test consists of ten inkblot images. Some of which are white, grey, black or coloured.
  • A psychiatrist or psychologist who has been trained adequately in the use of scoring and interpretation of the test shows each of the test cards to the participant. 
  • The subject is then asked to depict what they think the card looks like.
  • The subject is permitted to hold the cards in any position of their choice, whether sideways or upside down.
  • The participants are free to interpret the ambiguous image; however, they like.
  • The subjects may also respond in any way they want. They may say that they see several things, one thing or nothing at all.
  • Participants can focus on the image as a whole, on specific aspects of the image, or even the white space that surrounds the image.
  • Once the participant has responded, the psychologist will then ask additional questions to get the individual to explain their initial impressions further.
  • The psychologist also records the reactions on a large number of variables, such as whether the participant looked at the entire image. These reactions are then interpreted and compiled into a profile of the subject.

Some of the Things Interpreters are Looking at Include:

  1. How Participants Describe the Image: There are specific responses common on each card, so interpreters include a code that identifies such responses.
  2. How Long They Take to Respond: When a respondent takes a long time to answer, it often means they are shocked by what they see.
  3. Factors are Known as Determinants: These factors include form, colour, shading and location, that generate a response. 
  4. Unrelated or Extra comments: These refers to any extra comment made that is not part of the primary response.
  5. The originality or popularity of the responses given: Highly atypical Responses are notable since they might indicate disturbances in thought patterns. Some reactions are pretty standard, while others may be more unique.

Research has suggested that specific responses to the inkblots might be indicative of schizophrenia and possibly schizotypal personality disorder and bipolar disorder. However, studies show that reactions to the inkblot do not appear related to anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder or dependent personality disorder.

Inblok tests are primarily used in counselling and psychotherapy. Participants who use it regularly often do so to obtain a great deal of qualitative information about how they function and feel. The client and therapist can then explore some of these issues during therapy.

Other Personality Assessment Types Include:

  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This Personality assessment method may perhaps be the most remarkable and widely used instrument for personality testing. Employers often perform this for matching employees to specific teams or departments. This step divides people into sixteen distinct personality types established on eight traits. 
  1. Extraversion or Introversion (E or I): This is a way to describe how individuals respond and interact with the world around them. Extroverts are referred to as out-ward turning, and tend to enjoy more frequent social interaction, feel energized after spending time with other people and are action-oriented. Introverts are referred to as inward-turning, and they tend to feel recharged after spending time alone, enjoy deep and meaningful social interactions and are thought-oriented. At one point or the other, we all exhibit introversion and extraversion to some extent, but most of us tend to have an overall preference for one or the other.
  2. Sensing or Intuition (S or I): These scales define how individuals gather information from the world around them. Every individual spends some time sensing or intuiting, depending on the situation. Individuals who prefer sensing tend to pay a great deal of attention to the real world, especially to what they can learn with their senses. Individuals who prefer intuition pay more attention to things like impressions and patterns. They enjoy imagining the future, abstract theories and thinking about possibilities.
  3. Thinking or Feeling (T or F): This scales focuses on how individuals make decisions based on the information they have gathered from their sensing or intuition functions. Individuals who prefer thinking place a greater emphasis on objective data and facts. They are consistent, impersonal and logical when making decisions. People who like feelings are more likely to consider individuals and emotions when making decisions.
  4. Judging or Perceiving (J or P): This scale involves how people deal with the outside world. People who prefer structure and firm decisions lean towards judging. Individuals who lean towards perceiving are more flexible, adaptable and open.
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). One of the most widely used personality tests is the Thematic Apperception Test. TAT is a type of assessment that involves describing vague scenes. This evaluation method is known as the picture interpretation technique. TAT is used to learn more about a person, assess someone for psychological conditions, help screen job candidates, determine if an individual matches a crime suspect’s profile, and help people express their feelings. 

These are only a few of the personality assessments available. Particularly if you are affected by a mental illness, substance abuse problem or both, these personality assessments can prove beneficial to your well-being. Trained and experienced practitioners can help determine if any underlying mental health concerns are cause for specific actions and, by doing so, can develop a recovery plan that is suitable for you.