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Maira Avalos Hilda Guerra Cynthia Gerardo Jose Molina Roxanne Rocha . Ch. 12 PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT. Personality , “is the reasonably stable patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behavior that distinguish one person from another” -book

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ch 12 personality assessment

Maira Avalos

Hilda Guerra

Cynthia Gerardo

Jose Molina

Roxanne Rocha

defining personality

Personality, “is the reasonably stable patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behavior that distinguish one person from another” -book

    • There are three fundamental terms related to personality:
      • Traits
      • States
      • Types
Defining Personality

Social profile

    • It’s the pattern and strength and weaknesses of various traits used by people to describe one another.
personality inventories

Identifies and measures the structure and features of an individual’s personality, or characteristics of one’s way of thinking, feeling, and behaving

    • Increases knowledge and understanding of self
    • Most are self-report
Personality Inventories
3 categories of personality instruments and strategies

Structured Personality Inventories

  • Projective Techniques
  • Instruments that asses positive aspects of personality
3 Categories of personality instruments and strategies
structured personality inventories


  • selected-response items
  • true/false,
  • matching
  • multiple choice
  • rating scales

Structured (also called objective) personality inventories are usually standardized, self- report instruments made up of items that are presented to a person who indicates how accurately the items describe his or her personality using a limited set of response options.

Structured Personality Inventories
structured personality inventories8

Broad scope

- measures and provides scores on a wide array of personality variables

Narrow scope

- focus on targeted aspects of personality, such as specific symptoms (e.g. depression or anxiety) or behaviors

  • Used frequently in Clinical Assessment

Aids in: A) Screening and diagnosing B) Treatment planning C) Monitoring treatment progress D) Evaluating treatment outcome

Can focus on:

Pathological (indicating symptoms or manifestations of mental or behavioral disorders) or nonpathological(assess presence or absence of nonpathological personality characteristics) aspects of personality.

Structured Personality Inventories
prominent structured personality inventories

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) - A comprehensive, structured instrument that assesses major symptoms of adult psychopathology.

    • Administered to individuals 18 yrs or older reading at a minimum of 6th grade level
    • 567 True/False
    • 60 to 90 minutes to complete
    • Administered by hand, audio, and computer
    • Available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and French (Canada)
    • Use restricted to qualified professionals


  • 10 clinical scales – assess dimensions of personality and psychopathology
  • 9 validity scales – detects response patterns
Prominent Structured Personality Inventories
prominent structured personality inventories10

Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III) - was designed to assist in diagnosing personality disorders.

  • 175 True/False
  • Designed for adults 18 yrs or older
  • Approximately 30 min.

The California Psychological Inventory (CPI) personality inventory composed of 434 T/F statements that assess personality dimensions in “normal” people between the ages of 12 and 70.

Prominent Structured Personality Inventories
prominent structured personality inventories11

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

- designed for measuring an individual’s preference according to the typological theories of Carl Jung. - sorts an individual’s preference into four separate categories, each composed of two opposite poles - the four categories are combined to form 16 possible personality types or combinations of preference

Prominent Structured Personality Inventories
the myers briggs type indicator mbti

Energy focus

Extraversion (E)

direct their energy to the outside world

Introversion (I)

direct their energy to the inside world

Information processing and acquisition

Sensing (S)

use of facts, objectivity, or use of five senses to notice what is real.

Intuitive (I)

looks beyond five senses to acquire information.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
the myers briggs type indicator mbti13

Decision Making

Thinking (T)

based on logic and objective analysis of the evidence.

Feeling (F)

based on their values and subjective evaluation.

Life Organization

Judging (J)

living in a planned, stable, organized way.

Perceiving (P)

living in a spontaneous and flexible way , responding to things as they arise.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
structured personality inventories contn

NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R) :

  • A well-known, highly regarded personality inventory based on the Five Factor Model of personality.
  • It suggests that the basic dimensions of personality contain the following components:

Neuroticism - Tendency to experience negative emotions (anxiety, angry, hostility, etc.)

Extraversion - Amount of energy directed outward into the social world (warmth, activity, excitement seeking, positive emotions, etc.)

Openness to Experience - Level of openness to new ideas and new experiences (fantasy, feelings, actions, ideas, and values.)

Agreeableness - Tendency toward friendly, considerable, and modest behavior (trust, compliance, modesty.)

Conscientiousness - Associated with responsibility and persistence (competence, order, achievement striving, self-discipline, and deliberation.)

Structured Personality Inventories...contn.

NEO PI-R consists of 240 statements

  • Age range from 17-89 years old.
  • Scores are reported in terms of qualitative descriptors: very low, low, average, high, and very high.
  • The test has two forms: Form S is for self-reports; form R is for observer reports.
  • There is a shorter version called NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), which consists of only 60 items.
the sixteen personality factor questionnaire fifth edition 16pf

The 16 PF is a comprehensive measure of adult personality traits.

  • It has been widely used for a variety of applications: treatment planning, couples’ counseling, vocational guidance, and hiring/promotion recommendations.
  • Questionnaire consists of 187 items and takes 35-50 minutes to complete.
  • Raw scores on all personality and global factors are converted to sten scores: scores from 1 - 3 are classified as low, scores from 4 - 7 are classified as average, and scores from 8 - 10 are classified as high.
  • Vigilance
  • Abstractedness
  • Privateness
  • Apprehensiveness
  • Openness to Change
  • Self-Reliance
  • Perfectionism
  • Tension
  • Warmth
  • Reasoning
  • Emotional Stability
  • Dominance
  • Liveliness
  • Rule-Consciousness
  • Social Boldness
  • Sensitivity

The 16 personality factors:

The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, Fifth Edition (16PF)
riso hudson enneagram type indicator rheti

The RHETI is a 144 item personality type instrument that produces a personality profile across nine personality types.

  • Riso postulates that this ancient system will help individuals unlock their hidden aspects so that they can become freer and better-functioning individuals.
  • Riso believes that the study of one’s profile leads to self-understanding and then to the understanding of others.
  • The nine Enneagram types can be further divided into three ranges of functioning: healthy, average, unhealthy.
Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI)

The nine Enneagram types include the following:

  • Reformers: Idealistic, purposeful, orderly, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
  • Helpers: Generous, concerned, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
  • Achievers: self-assured, adaptable, ambitious, driven, and image-conscious.
  • Individualists: creative, expressive, dramatic, introverted, and temperamental.
  • Investigators: Perceptive, analytical, secretive, and isolated.
  • Loyalists: Likable, dependable, anxious, and suspicious.
  • Enthusiasts: Accomplished, extroverted, spontaneous, acquisitive, and scattered.
  • Challengers: Powerful, self-confident, decisive, willful, and autocratic.
  • Peacemakers: Peaceful, receptive, passive, agreeable, and complacent.
projective instruments and techniques

Strongly associated with psychodynamic theory of personality and the importance of the unconscious.

  • Require examinees to answer questions to ambiguous stimuli using open-ended questions.
  • These instruments are projective because they require for clients to generate a response in the face of ambiguity. As such, the clients reveals or projects elements of his or her personal characteristics.
  • They aid clients to reveal the unconscious fears, conflicts, or needs.
Projective Instruments and Techniques
rorschach cont

Developed by Herman Rorschach 1921.

  • Consists of a series of irregular but symmetrical inkblots and the client is asked to look at the inkblots and verbally describe what they see.
  • By analyzing what someone sees on the inkblot, examiners can make various hypotheses about the individual’s emotions, cognition, coping skills, perception of others and relationships, and self-perception.
  • Test is made up of two phases.
    • Phase I (Free association) the examiner presents the inkblots to the test taker one at a time and instructs him or her to tell what is on each card. Examiner records all relevant information, including responses, nonverbal gestures, and length of response.
    • Phase II (Inquiry phase ) Examiner attempts to determine what features of the inkblot played a role in the test taker’s perception of the image.

The original test came with no test manual and administration, scoring, and interpretation. Since a number of manuals and handbooks have become available.

Rorschach cont.
thematic appreciation test tat
Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)
  • Developed by Henry Murray in 1943 and is was based on his theory of personality.
  • Includes a series of black and white cards that contain a variety of characters, situations, and objects. Examinees are asked to look at and make up stories about each picture.
  • After each TAT story, the examiner asks a series of questions to better understand the examinee’s story in order to determine the characters’ thoughts and feelings and how the story was generated.
  • The test is used with the belief that the examinee will identify with the character and project his or her unconscious motives, feelings, and needs onto the character.
verbal projective techniques

Methods that involve both verbal stimuli and verbal responses. The responses can be transmitted orally or in writing.

  • The client needs good language skills and should be able to hear or read words and express himself or herself orally or in writing.
    • Projective Questions
    • Sentence Completion Tasks
    • Story Completion
Verbal Projective Techniques
projective questions

If you could be anything you wanted to be, what would you be?

  • If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?
  • If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your life?
Projective Questions
sentence completion tasks

examinees are presented a list of sentence stems at the beginning of a sentence with a space after each stem and are asked to complete the sentence.

  • Can be done written or orally.
  • Sentence completion responses are used in order to provide insight into an individual’s self-image, developmental characteristics, interpersonal reactions, needs, and perceived threats.
  • I wish…..
  • I secretly….
  • I feel….
  • I regret…
  • I can’t….
  • Sometimes….
Sentence Completion Tasks
story completion

Often used with children and adolescents. Are thought to contain nonverbal clues and symbolic messages about the child’s self-concept, motivations, concerns, attitudes, and desires.

      • Draw-a-Person Test
      • House-Tree-Person Technique
      • Family Drawings
Story Completion
draw a person test

Child is asked to draw a picture of a whole person. The child is then asked to elaborate on the drawing on what the person in the drawing is doing, feeling, and thinking.

  • The Koppitz’s scoring system is one of the most frequently used.
  • It focuses on 30 emotional indicators in children’s drawing. Emotional indicators are specific details in drawings that distinguish normally adjusted children and emotionally disturbed children.
  • The presence or absence of three or more emotional indicators may indicate underlying problems or maladjustment in the child.
          • Example: Depressed, withdrawn children characteristically include tiny figures and short arms but no eyes.
Draw-a-Person Test
house tree person technique
House-Tree-Person Technique
  • Children are asked to draw a house, a tree, and a person on a separate sheets of paper.
  • The picture of the house is supposed to arouse children’s feeling about their home life and family relationships.
  • Drawing a tree is expected to elicit feelings about inner strengths or weaknesses.
  • The picture of the person is believed to reveal children’s view of themselves.
family drawings
Family Drawings
  • Provide a nonthreatening way to assess a child’s perception of his or her family.
  • Kinetic Family drawing asks the child to draw of a picture of everyone in the family, including themselves, doing something.
  • The instructions emphasize the family engaging in some activity (kinetic).
  • After the image is completed, the child is asked to:
    • Explain who each figure is
    • Describe what the figures are doing, feeling, and what they are thinking about
    • Tell a story about the actions in the drawing and what happens next
issues with structured and projective instruments

They lack reliability and validity.

  • Their use by therapists has decreased from 72% in 1986 to 39% in 2003.
Issues With Structured and Projective Instruments
personality inventories with a positive focus

Personality inventories with a positive focus

    • The quality of life inventory (QOLI)
    • Coopersmith self-esteem inventory (SEI)
    • Piers- Harris children’s self-concept scale (piers harris-2)
      • Behavioral adjustment
      • Intellectual and school status
      • Physical appearance and attributes
      • Freedom from anxiety
      • Popularity
      • Happiness and satisfaction
  • Other self-esteem inventories
Personality Inventories with a Positive Focus
response styles

Social desirability

  • Acquiescent
  • Nonacquiescent
  • Deviance
  • Extreme
  • Gambling/cautiousness
Response styles