Dr. Michael Hamilton, Psy.D.
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About the MMPI-2

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2

Use of the MMPI-2

The results of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), allow the clinicians such as Dr. Hamilton to make inferences about the client's typical behaviors and way of thinking. The MMPI-2 outcomes can help Dr. Hamilton to determine the severity of impairment, outlook on life, approaches to problem solving, typical mood states, likely diagnoses, and potential problems in treatment. The MMPI-2 inventory is used in a wide range of settings for a variety of procedures. The inventory is often used as part of inpatient psychiatric assessments, differential diagnosis, and outpatient evaluations. In addition, the instrument is often used by Dr. Hamilton as an expert witness in forensic settings as part of an evaluation of a defendant's mental health, particularly in criminal cases including criminal defense and custody disputes. The MMPI-2 has also been used to evaluate candidates for employment in some fields, and in educational counseling.


The inventory items are organized after scoring into validity, clinical, and content scales. After scoring, the configuration of the test taker's scale scores is marked on a profile form that contrasts each client's responses to results obtained by the representative community comparison group. Dr. Hamilton is able to compare a respondent's choices to those of a large normative comparison group as well as to the results derived from earlier MMPI and MMPI-2 studies. He will then be able to form inferences about the client by analyzing his or her response patterns on the validity, clinical and content scales, using published guidebooks to the MMPI-2. These texts are based on results obtained from over 10,000 MMPI / MMPI-2 research studies.

In addition to the standard validity, clinical, and content scales, numerous additional scales for the MMPI-2 have been created for special purposes over the years by researchers. These special supplementary scale scores are often incorporated into Dr. Hamilton's interpretation of the test results. Commonly used supplementary scales include the MacAndrews Revised Alcoholism Scale, the Addiction Potential Scale, and the Anxiety Scale.

History of the MMPI-2

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed in the late 1930’s by psychologist Starke R. Hathaway and psychiatrist J.C. McKinley at the University of Minnesota. Today, it is the most frequently used clinical testing instrument and is one of the most researched psychological tests in existence.

After the test was first published, clinicians and researchers began to question the accuracy of the MMPI. Critics pointed out that the original sample group was inadequate. Others argued that the results indicated possible test bias, while others felt the test itself contained sexist and racist questions. In response to these issues, the MMPI underwent a revision in the late 1980’s. Many questions were removed or reworded while a number of new questions were added. Additionally, new validity scales were incorporated in the revised inventory.

The revised edition was released in 1989 as the MMPI-2. While the test received revision again in 2001, the MMPI-2 is still in use today and is the most frequently used clinical assessment test. Because the MMPI-2 is copyrighted by the University of Minnesota, clinicians must pay to administer and utilize the test.

Administering the MMPI-2

The MMPI-2 contains 567 T/F questions and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Diagnosis should never be made solely on the results of an MMPI-2. The inventory can be scored by hand or by computer and Dr. Hamilton can provide the results which should always be interpreted by a qualified mental health professional that has had extensive training in MMPI-2 interpretation.

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