Clinical Decisions in This Chapter, Essay
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The MMPI-2 has been used successfully to detect feigning in neurological and psychiatric control groups (Klein, 2007). As a result, the MMPI-2 is the most frequently used test in forensic psychological testing. There is, however, still substantial "debate which of the four subscales is most useful for identifying malingering" (Klein, 2007). However, one of the MMPI-2's lingering problems is that it is a test where people can incorporate coaching, so that it is somewhat vulnerable to coaching.
The issue of coaching is critical in the forensics environment. This is because the goal of forensic psychology is to use neuropsychological assessment methods to help in some type of legal proceedings. These proceedings can be civil or criminal proceedings. In both civil and criminal environments, the need for accurate diagnosis can be critical to outcomes for the person being tested and for people being impacted by their testing. Moreover, it can be very important for testing to see if it can help determine causation for the complained about defects, because the litigation may be focused on trying to determine what caused defects or deficits.
The main advantage of the MMPI-2 in the forensic setting is that it is one of the most well-respected and accepted tests in psychological testing. This means that the results of the test are generally going to be considered acceptable and not
be subject to the same criticisms as other tests. It is also a more objective test, which means that while the administration of the test may be subject to questions, the interpretation is considered more extensive. Another advantage of the test is its ability to differentiate between different disorders. It has also been administered numerous times in a forensic setting, so that it can be used in helping prepare testimony in a way that it not necessarily applicable to other tests. The MMPI-2 has been used so frequently with the DSM for diagnostic purposes, that it not only helps in diagnosis, but can also help recommend treatment modalities. When one considers that the MMPI-2 might be used in child custody scenarios or to determine whether parole is appropriate, then treatment issues can be very important.
However, that the MMPI-2 is so well understood and so frequently used in the forensic setting can actually be one of its biggest drawbacks. That makes the test vulnerable to coaching, which is very possible in some forensic scenarios. Another drawback of the MMPI-2 is that it can be situationally dependent. Given that people are impacted by their test conditions and underlying emotions when taking that test, it can give a snapshot of how a person appears at that particular moment, but does not necessarily portray that person under all circumstances.
Klein, H. (2007). Assessment of malingered neuropsychological…
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Klein, H. (2007). Assessment of malingered neuropsychological deficits. New York: Oxford
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