Summary

Hi all,

 

My research this summer was about personality testing, and my primary purpose in conducting this research was to create a website detailing the structure and scoring of four different personality tests as well as assessing their reliability and validity based on the findings of existing research. The four tests I chose to study were the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the Myers-Briggs Type indicator, and the revised NEO personality inventory. Of the found that the NEO-PI-R was the most widely supported by psychologists, but a direct comparison of the four tests is difficult because they serve different purposes– the MMPI, for example, is used in clinical settings to analyze psychopathology, while the MBTI is used mostly in business settings today to determine the motivational styles of employees. The implications of the wide reach of personality tests are numerous, but one thing in particular that concerned me is the fact that in many companies, the MBTI is a required test for all employees and can sometimes affect whether and employee is hired and/or promoted, but its reliability and validity have been seriously questioned by many psychologists. As a whole, personality tests are useful, but there are many people who trust them implicitly to accurately categorize human personality, and my research has shown me that this is rarely the best course of action.

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Progress Update #3

Hi Everyone!

 

In the final week of my research, I looked into the two remaining personality tests on my list: the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and the NEO Personality Inventory. First, I wanted to find out about the development of the tests, and then I wanted to assess the reliability and validity of the two tests as measures of personality. First, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, which was originally created with 63 yes or no items designed to measure two domains of personality– extraversion and neuroticism, with a third scale built in called the Lie scale to assess the accuracy of a subject’s responses (namely, to ensure they did not select answers randomly). After its publication in 1963, the test was revised to include a third domain called psychoticism, and today the most recent version of the test contains 94 yes or no questions and measures the same three domains. One of the primary concerns that many psychologists have is the low reliability found by several studies in relation to the psychoticism scale. The authors of the test justify this lower level of consistency by pointing out that psychoticism measures several different facets of personality under a single umbrella, such as hostility, lack of empathy, nonconformism, etc. However, if anything this justification seems to indicate that the EPQ would be more reliable and better able to quantify personality if it assessed a greater number of domains so that each one could be more specific.

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Progress Update #2

Hi all!

 

I’m a bit late catching up on blog posts, because at this point I’ve completed my project, but in the second week of my research I looked in more depth at the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to try and determine whether or not either of them is considered reliable and/or valid. What I found, as expected, is that the results are mixed. For the MMPI, because it is most frequently used in clinical settings as a diagnostic tool, the studies I found related mostly to its reliability in identifying subjects with abnormal personalities. I generally found support for the MMPI as a diagnostic aide, valuable because it assesses patients on 10 different clinical scales and thus provides a multifaceted picture of any one individual’s psychopathology. However, the MMPI-2 (the most updated form of the MMPI) contains 567 true/false questions, so there is some concern about internal reliability. In other words, do people answer the questions as carefully and accurately in the second half of the test as they do in the first half? To combat this, the MMPI has validity scales which are designed to make it apparent when a subject’s responses are affected by test-taking fatigue.

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Progress Update #1

Hi all,

 

In the first week and a half of my research, I’ve been reading several studies conducted to assess the reliability and validity of a few different personality tests. My first  step, of course, was to decide which personality tests to examine. I chose four to compare and contrast: the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator, and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory.

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