Irving B. Weiner
Despite their best intentions, practitioners of personality assessment sometimes painfully discover they have paid insufficient attention to what they should or should not have done. This article addresses ways in which personality assessors can anticipate ethical and legal challenges, and, by so doing, avoid them. The American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct is an ethics code that rests on the fundamental requirement for psychologists to be knowledgeable and responsible professionals who respect the rights and dignity of others, show concern for the welfare of their clients and colleagues, and present themselves fairly and honestly to their patients and their communities. Five sequential phases of clinical personality assessment, in each of which lurk some ethical and legal hazards, must be considered: accepting a referral; selecting the test battery; conducting the psychological testing; preparing and presenting a report; and managing case records.
David T. R. Berry, Myriam J. Sollman, Lindsey J. Schipper, Jessica A. Clark, and Anne L. Shandera
Feigned-symptom reports have become of increasing interest in recent years, in part because the results of psychological evaluations are more widely accepted in legal proceedings. This article examines several pertinent issues regarding assessment of malingering, including methodological concerns, base rates of feigning, and coaching to avoid detection. It evaluates several frequently used measures of malingering, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III, Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology, Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test, and Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS). The article provides cutting scores, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive powers at various base rates of feigning. After the SIRS, the feigning scales of the MMPI-2 have the most support for malingering detection, followed by the PAI scales. Generally, all measures reviewed showed greater negative predictive power rates; thus, a two-stage sequential process for malingering detection is discussed.
Julia N. Perry
This article explores how evaluating trait-like resistance with objective personality-assessment instruments can assist therapists in better anticipating, understanding, and responding to their clients' signs of therapeutic resistance. First, it reviews the data regarding gender-influenced attitudes toward psychological treatment, and then presents and discusses specific Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) validity, clinical, and content scales that measure elements of treatment resistance. The article also analyzes clinical and normative data on the Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory, a measure that was created specifically for treatment-planning purposes. Finally, it presents a case example to illustrate specific methods of informing psychotherapy with objective test data.