Session 8
Appraisal of Personality
Schedule
 Student
tapes
 Personality
 16 PF
 Projectives
Definition
 Personality
comes from the Greek work
persona –which referred to a role play by
an actor in a play
 Difficult construct to define and measure
 Assessment of personality been around
for thousands of years
 However, field of formal psychological
assessment is less than 100 years old
Personality Research Increasing
 Butcher
(1995) cited three reasons why
upsurge in last 20 years



Increased research on the use of personality
assessment
Personality assessment is more attractive to
professionals than it was in the past
Increased use of personality assessment in
forensic and industrial settings
Types of Personality Assessments

Formal

Structured personality instruments
•
•
•
•

MMPI
16 PF
NEO-PI-R
MBTI
Projective techniques
• Roschach
• TAT

Informal

Observation
Reliability of Observation

Unsystematic error




Counselor off due to external stressors/events
Client is off for same or other possibilities
Counselor misinterprets client response (disinterested)
Consistency

Test-retest
• Compare observations between sessions

Split-half
• Split the session in half

Record observations at specific intervals during a session and
comparing them
• Receive training

Stattler (1993) found that reliability can be increased in
observation when there are clear and precise definitions
of behaviors and a systematic method of observing.
Validity Issues



When counselors are observing, they need to consider
the representativeness and generalizability of their
observation (Stattler, 1993).
The validity of observations may be restricted because
only a sample of behaviors are observed.
Remedy is to increase the amount of time the client is
observed




School counselors can observe on playground, in classroom,
during lunch, and on playground for example.
Clients can be asked to keep a log (self-observation technique)
Can have others observe and record behaviors
Threat to validity issues that all information passes
through the individuals lens (biases and beliefs) which
may be very different from others’ reality.
Interviewing

Interview

Vacc and Juhnke (1997) found that structured
clinical interviews fell into two categories:
• Diagnostic assessment

The intent of interviews is to identify issues and possible
disorders consistent with a diagnostic taxonomy (DSM-IV-R)
• Descriptive assessment

Utilized when the purpose is to describe aspects of the client
Counselors need to focus on the reliability and validity of
their interviewing techniques.
Structured Personality Inventories

Anastasi and Urbina (1997) suggested that there are four basic methods
of constructing self-report personality inventories
1.
2.
3.
4.



Content-related procedure-here the focus is on the content-relevance of the
items (e.g., content scales of the MMPI-2).
Personality theory where the items are based upon the theory. Then conduct
construct validation procedures (e.g., Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; MBTI).
Empirical criterion keying method is when items are selected based upon
some external criterion. The MMPI is an example of this because the items
were selected that separated people who were considered to normal from
those people who were diagnosed with some form of pathology. Strong
Interest Inventory was developed the same way because only items that
differentiated between people working in that occupation from people not
working in that occupation being used in coring each occupation scale.
Factor analysis examines the interrelationship of items and determining the
similarities of the items that group together. The Neo Personality Inventory
(the Big Five) is an example.
The MMPI-2 is the most widely used personality inventory.
The NEO-PI-R is moving up in use (rich research base)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is that can be used in diverse settings.
MMPI-2


Designed by Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kraemmer,
1989 to replace the MMPI.
Reasons for revision


MMPI normed on (1930) were White, middle-class individuals from
Minnesota.
MMPI-2 normed on 1980 census data
• Includes high proportion of individuals with advanced degrees and in higher
status occupations
• Racial bias



Interpretation of MMPI-2 is complex and specific training is needed
in order to use the results appropriately.
It could be dangerous in the hands of casual user. There is a
movement to have tests such as these only available to licensed
psychologists.
Scores are t scores values.
Psychometric Properites
 Debate
continues if MMPI-2 is as good as
MMPI
 Test-retest reliability coefficients


Men r = .67 to .92
Women r = .58 to .91
NEO-PI-R

Researchers are saying that personality can
best be described by five factors based upon
factor analysis (Digman, 1990; Goldber, 1994;
McCraie & John, 1992).
 Five Factors





Factor I
Factor II
Factor III
Factor IV
Factor V
Surgency or Extra-version
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Emotional Stability or Neuroticism
Intellect or an Openness to Experience
NEO-PI-R Scales

N Scale (Neuroticism)




Provides a measure of adjustment or emotional stability
High scores indicate a tendency to experience negative feelings such as
fear, sadness, embarrassment, anger, and guilt.
Although clinicians make distinctions between types of emotional
distress (e.g., anxiety, anger, and depression). Developers have found
that if individuals are prone to one of these emotional states, they are
more likely to experience the others. Thus, this domain measures a
tendency toward coping poorly with stress, difficulty controlling
impulses, and proclivity toward irrational thoughts.
E (Extroversion)



Concerns the individual’s tendency to be sociable, assertive, active, and
talkative.
High scores are associated with being upbeat, energetic, and optimistic.
Costa and McCrae (1992) found that introverts are not unhappy, hostile,
and shy. Their studies indicated that introverts are reserved rather than
unfriendly, independent as compared to follower, and even-paced as
compared to sluggish.
NEO-PI-R Scales

O (Openness)




A (Agreeableness)



Measures the degree of openness to a variety of experiences.
Elements associated with openness are an active imagination , aesthetic
sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, and intellectual curiosity.
Perhaps the most controversial of the domains have labeled this factor Intellect
and contend that the openness label does not adequately address the factor.
Measures the tendency to be sympathetic, a desire to help others, and a belief
that others will reciprocated and assist them. Low scores on this scale are
associated with a tendency to antagonistic, egocentric, and skeptical of others’
intentions.
Costa and McCrae (1992) argued that extremes at either end were problematic.
Low scores are associated with narcissistic, antisocial, and paranoid behaviors,
while high scores are associated with dependency problems.
C (Conscientiousness)



Related to the individual’s ability to control impulses.
This domain measures self-control and the ability to plan, organize, and carry out
tasks.
Low scores are associated with being more lackadaisical in the pursuit of goals.
Extremely high scores indicate fastidious behaviors, compulsive neatness, and
workaholic tendencies.
Validity Check
Three questions that address the validity
of the profile:

1.
2.
3.
Did you respond honestly?
Did you respond accurately?
Could a family member fill out for R?
 Form for men
 From for men
Strengths and Weaknesses
 Weaknesses


Problems with identification of pathology
Instrument was normed on normal adults
 Strengths


Valid predictor in virtually all occupations
(concurrent validity-when ran with another
established instrument)
Does not result in adverse impact for job
applicants from minority groups
The 16 PF

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The Cattell 16PF (16 Personality Factor) model defines basic,
underlying personality, without regard to application or the
environment.
These PFs are considered relatively unchanging features that
strongly influence human performance.
But the way in which the human being performs is mainly influenced
by environment.
The underlying personality is there all the time, but the way in which
people understand themselves is affected by intelligence, and by
culture, upbringing and education, which may have taught people
either to emphasis or suppress aspects of their personality.
Presumably if a person can understand what his or her personality
is, s/he can then make better use of the strengths, and make
allowances for the resultant weaknesses.
Because personality is relatively unchanging through adult life, this
understanding will be of long-term value.
The 16 PF
 THE
16 PERSONALITY FACTORS
 Each factor can be measured on a scale,
determined by completing a questionnaire,
and the word pairs indicate the extremes
of each scale. The letter codes were
ascribed to each scale as a shorthand
notation.
The 16 PF Scales
Bipolar Dimensions of Personality
Warmth (Reserved vs. Warm; Factor A)
Reasoning (Concrete vs. Abstract; Factor B)
Emotional Stability (Reactive vs. Emotionally Stable; Factor C)
Dominance (Deferential vs. Dominant; Factor E)
Liveliness (Serious vs. Lively; Factor F)
Rule-Consciousness (Expedient vs. Rule-Conscious; Factor G)
Social Boldness (Shy vs. Socially Bold; Factor H)
Sensitivity (Utilitarian vs. Sensitive; Factor I)
Vigilance (Trusting vs. Vigilant; Factor L)
Abstractedness (Grounded vs. Abstracted; Factor M)
Privateness (Forthright vs. Private; Factor N)
Apprehension (Self-Assured vs. Apprehensive; Factor O)
Openness to Change (Traditional vs. Open to Change; Factor Q1)
Self-Reliance (Group-Oriented vs. Self-Reliant; Factor Q2)
Perfectionism (Tolerates Disorder vs. Perfectionistic; Factor Q3)
Tension (Relaxed vs. Tense; Factor Q4)
Limitations of Standardized
Personality Inventories
 Majority


are self-report
Fake good or bad
Socially desirable responding
Projective Techniques
 Intent
is that clients will have hard time
faking their responses

There are no right or wrong answers
 Born
out of psychoanalytic period (1900s)
 Used mainly in clinical settings
 Extensive training necessary to interpret
Five Projective Categories

Associations


Construction


Of sentences or cartoons
Arrangement or selection


Stories or biographies
Completions


Inkblots, word associations
Toys or verbal options
Expression

Drawing or dance
Exner’s Comprehensive System

Based on Rorschach

Location
• Section of inkblot focused upon

Determinants
• Form and movement of the blot
• Color and shading

Content in items of scoring
• Common responses compared to uncommon

Interpreting the results
• Reliability significantly higher than with other systems
Construction Techniques

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)


Examinee constructs a story based on a picture shown to him/her by examiner
Total of 31 cards
• 30 black and white
• 20 specific pictures



Psychometric properties



19 pictures
1 blank
Quantitative scoring systems that yield acceptable inter rater reliability (r = .80).
Normative data
Strenghts/Weaknesses
Lack of sleep and hunger can affect performance

Pictures are somewhat out of date

Clinicians interpretations can be quite controversial
Like other projective instruments because so subjective in interpreting results
seek other source of information to confirm or disconfirm (convergent or
divergent validity).

Completion Techniques

Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank


Involves providing a stimulus to the examinee and he/she then
completes the task
Three levels of test:
• High school
• College
• Adult

Client completes 40 sentences
• Scored for conflict, positive response or neutral response



Aiken (1996) suggested research finding indicate that the Rotter
Incomplete Sentence Blank can be used as a screening tool for
overall adjustment.
The new manual provides new information on reliability and
validity
Norms have been updated as well
Arrangement or Selection
Techniques

Sandplay




Controversy if diagnostic or clinical assessment or
therapeutic tool
Society for Sandplay Therapy has supported it as
psychotherapeutic (Mitchell & Friedman, 1994)
Most research individual case studies
Three more promising techniques



Family does a collective drawing
Use of puppets with the family
Use of puppets in diagnostic interviews
• Focuses is on analyzing the form and content of the child’s
play with the puppets.
Expression mTechniques


House-tree-person
3 separate drawings of a house, tree, and a person



Kinetic-House-Tree –Person



House reflects the home situation
Tree represents relationship of self to the environment, and the
person represents the self.
All on one paper
Allows understanding of the of the interconnections among the
three figures and the action of the person.
Kinetic-Family-Drawing


Family doing something together
Allows for clearer understanding of family dynamics
Strengths/Limitations of Projective
Measures

More difficult to fake
 Useful with nonverbal
and/or child clients
 Opening into world
that other techniques
do not provide

Higher proportion of
errors
 Lack normative data
 Validation information
is meager
 Not tests—clinical
tools
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Chapter 10 Appraisal of Personality