Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed in Minnesota and written by two famous authors in 1939, Starke Hathaway, Ph.D., and J. McKinley, M.D. This was marked as a changing phase in the field of philosophy because it represented a deep understanding of how an adult mind works, therefore, it could be used for personality testing. After Stark Hathaway and J. McKinley wrote the MMPI, the book was copyrighted by Minnesota University (Barron, 1953).
The 1940s – 1980s
During this period, MMPI, the first edition was widely used as an instrument for human beings’ personality assessment. This was done through a method called empirical keying.
The 1980s – 1990s
After the first publication, other additions were made to MMPI as a result of increased understanding of the adult measure of psychopathology. But MMPI continued to be used to measure the personality of adults. But in 1989 MMPI -2 was developed after modification of MMPI. This came about as a result of a major project that was done using current population characteristics (Bergin, 1969). It was believed that the population that was there in 1939 when MMPI was first done had already changed. Therefore a new database was created with information on normative characteristics of current big populations. This is what is commonly known as MMPI’s second edition, MMPI -2 (Barron, 1953). This second edition was therefore derived using a larger population and therefore considered to be more effective.
Publication of MMPI 2 did not mean the end of psychological studies. There are other modifications that have been done since then (Bergin, 1969). These modifications could also be termed as MMPI revisions, done with the aim of making it better and more effective. Such revisions are such as MMPI – 2 A in 1991, MMPI – 2RF, and many others.
Significance of MMPI Event
The significance of the MMPI event cannot be fully emphasized as it marked a new era in the field of psychology (Bergin, 1969). For so many years this assessment gold key has been used all over the world and it has now become standard everywhere. Today, you will find it being used when authorities want to determine if one is legible for child custody. When MMPI is being administered, there are so many tests that are done and they all take about ninety minutes to complete. In order to be done successfully, this process needs to be done by a medically qualified psychiatrist with qualifications relating to MMPI. When MMPI tests are done, there are scales that define the next step that will be taken. The scales are from 1 to 10 and can be interpreted by a computer or a mentally healthy psychiatrist.
In the 21st century, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory has affected psychological testing in a very great way. This is through its deep understanding of how the human mind works. There is a great database that has been created using normal characteristics of current populations, with all variations between these populations taken into account. MMPI has therefore become the default method of testing in this century. There are projects still being done to improve its efficiency but it remains to be the main tool of assessment of adults’ mental health. Its use has been spread worldwide, making it a universal way of psychological testing. MMPI could therefore be said to be a time-changing tool that was copyrighted in Minnesota University.
Barron, F. (1953). An ego-strength scale that predicts response to psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 17(5), 327-333.
Bergin, A. E. & Jasper, L. G. (1969). Correlates of empathy in psychotherapy: A replication. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 74, 477-481.