Examined the theoretical foundation and empirical performance of 2 sets of "critical items" that are a common feature of most automated MMPI interpretations. These items purportedly alert the clinician to serious pathology and operate as a scale of general maladjustment. Critical items resulted in numerous misclassifications when used as a scale of adjustment with 43% of 1,023 male psychiatric patients and 95% of 1,045 normal male job applicants responding in the deviant direction on 5 or fewer items. The critical items consist mainly of F -scale items and duplicate the information communicated by this scale. The extremely deviant nature of the critical items makes them capable of only reflecting crises of psychotic proportions. When face-valid critical items were compared to clinical data, 70-76% resulted in empirically valid behavior samples. Invalid critical items are listed. It is concluded that MMPI critical items are inadequate for screening purposes. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
- MMPI "critical items", miscalculations when used as scale of adjustment, male psychiatric patients &
- job applicants, implications for psychodiagnostic screening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health