'Outdated' Personality Psychometric Assessments

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'Outdated' Personality Psychometric Assessments

Post by menojojo »

Qualified clinical psychologist and working in a public setting. Whilst I have access to the most up-to-date cognitive assessments, I'm being declined access to updated personality assessments. Currently in service are the MCMI-III and the MMPI-2-RF. I'm being told, by psychology managers, that there is no need to update personality assessments in the same way as cognitive assessments as, for example, there is no Flynn effect with personality assessments.

Curious if others have faced a similar situation and developed a rationale for access to updated personality assessments?
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Re: 'Outdated' Personality Psychometric Assessments

Post by Spatch »

I think you would always go back to the reliability and validity of the psychometric tools, and the utility of them in clinical practice. While there is some merit in cognitive assessments needing more uptodate standardisation and adjustment to current population norms (as well as having more culturally aware tools to avoid bias), you could make a similar argument for updating a tool if they are more reliable, accurate or more valid. Especially if it saves time, increases efficiency or has substantial impact the costs can often pay for themselves.

The other argument may be that you need a particular set of tools to demonstrate you are following NICE guidelines or the gold standard of treatment, and not to have access to these could create liabilities in a service. The subtle threat of "Okay, we can do this, but if it ends up in court can you send me in writing that you did not authorise this, just so everyone is clear where that decision was made" can sometimes work wonders.

That said, I am also aware some publishers update their tools with almost no real change (a bit like university textbooks having new versions with almost no extra material) to make money. I wouldn't buy something just because it is the latest. There would have to be something demonstrably different or extra.
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Re: 'Outdated' Personality Psychometric Assessments

Post by miriam »

I'm puzzled by the question, so perhaps you could fill in some of the gaps for me about why this is an issue for your service. These questionnaires have both been on Pearson's digital platforms (Q global/local/interactive) for as long as I have been qualified, so I haven't hand scored one for more than two decades. I don't think I've seen a paper form or tangible manual since I started my company in 2011. So what is the big cost to upgrade? You just buy the credits of the newest version, rather than the older version (or if you want to be thorough you could add £200 for the digital manuals). It isn't a massive lump sum outlay like buying a physical test kit, and those can both be administered on a laptop, so you don't even need the two ipads required for the Welchsler tests. Sure, scoring credits are expensive. Pearson's have a cornered market, but they wouldn't be cost effective to hand score compared to paying for the clinician time - and the price uplift came before the versions you say your service is using. So you might have to help me understand the barrier.

But as to new versions in and of themselves, I'd be curious why you'd prefer them. Have they improved their terminology, or the detail in the interpretation, or do they have a more relevant normative sample? I've stuck with the MMPI-2 as I like the child custody report variant, and they haven't developed that for the RF or the 3. The terminology is dated as you'd expect for a test developed 25 years ago, but the evidence base is very strong.

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