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UQx PSYC1030.3x 6-5-2 Personality assessment: Objective tests

September 29, 2019

Broadly, there are two different approaches
to measuring personality. The first is to use objective tests. We’ve talked about the 16PF, and the NEO-PI,
which measures the Big Five. There is also the MMPI, the Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory. The MMPI is a little bit different to the
Big Five. Like the NEO-PI, it’s a questionnaire-based
measure of personality. Again, it’s got a large number of items, but
the MMPI is designed for a clinical setting. The items were actually developed with patients
in a secure mental health facility––so people who had serious clinical issues and
who were locked up. And it’s often useful for diagnosing psychological
disorders. The problem is, though, people who you’re
likely to be using it with may wish to deceive you, so they may present themselves more positively
than they actually are. The test is designed to try and detect deception
and also social desirability bias, but people can still influence the scores on it. The other problem is that it doesn’t include
some of the things that the NEO-PI measures include. So, researchers often prefer to use something
like the NEO-PI if they’re interested in things like neuroticism, openness and extraversion––which
a lot of research focuses on. So, different tests are used in different
settings depending on what the purpose is. The other set of tests are projective tests. The Thematic Apperception Test is a projective
test. Now, what people do with this test is they
present an ambiguous stimuli and they ask people to describe what’s going on in the
image. Take a look at the following image and see
if you can describe what is happening.

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