Copyright

MMPI-2: Code Types, Reliability & Validity

Instructor: Jennifer Kinder
Explore the MMPI-2 assessment and its development. Learn the difference between clinical scales and code types. Understand reliability and validity as it relates to the MMPI-2.

Overview of the MMPI-2

Dr. Puzzled is, well, puzzled, at what is really going on with his patient Kim. Kim has seen ten different psychologists over the past few years and has at least that many diagnoses. She is diagnostically complex, to say the least. Dr. Puzzled decides to give Kim an MMPI-2 assessment to give him a clear picture, in the most efficient way possible, of the mental health issues she struggles with.

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, second version of the MMPI, or MMPI-2, is a psychological test used to uncover a patient's mental health symptoms. It is the most widely used psychological test today. This test can only administered, and the scores interpreted, by a psychologist.

The original MMPI was developed in 1943 by Drs. Hathaway and McKinley, who believed a psychological test completed by a patient would be a much more efficient and standardized way of collecting important information about symptoms. In comparison, it would take hours for a psychologist to gather the same information verbally.

The MMPI-2 has more than 500 statements which patients decide are true or false about themselves. Drs. Hathaway and McKinley determined that these statements were the best at discriminating between groups of people with different mental health issues. For example, people who are depressed tend to report a specific set of symptoms. People who are anxious report a different set of symptoms. Although there are some symptoms in common between the two, the questions chosen for the MMPI-2 are those that are best at differentiating between the two. For example, pain and swelling accompany both a sprained ankle and broken ankle. However, inability to bear any weight differentiates between an ankle being broken or sprained.

Clinical Scales

The MMPI-2 yields scores for ten clusters of mental health issues. These clusters of mental health symptoms and the accompanying scores are referred to as clinical scales. When the score for a specific clinical scale is elevated, it lets the patient's psychologist know that he or she is struggling with this specific mental health issue. For example, one clinical scale measures depression. When a patient receives a high score on depression, this means the patient has admitted to several symptoms of depression and is likely quite depressed.

Code Types

Code types are when two to three clinical scale scores are higher than the other clinical scales. When a certain combination of clinical scales are elevated together, it gives the psychologist a clearer picture of what mental health symptoms a patient is struggling with. This allows the psychologist to take in and integrate information about multiple mental health issues at once. It is also possible that a patient does not have a code type and only has an elevated clinical scale score. This provides a simpler diagnostic picture.

For example, a patient who has depression and psychotic symptoms (sees and hears things others don't) requires different treatment than one who has depression and anxiety. Another example might be a patient who is depressed and experiencing lots of vague physical symptoms. Looking at this patient's code type might suggest the patient's headaches and stomachaches are related to, or exacerbated by, his or her depression. This is a clinical picture you might miss if only looking at the patient's depression clinical scale score.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support