When a person feels sad, guilty, tired and generally experiences feeling down and weak, he or she may be experiencing depression. Depression is a behavioral condition that has a strong effect in all aspects of a person’s life. It affects a person’s feelings about the self and her purpose, career, family relationships and social life. This condition is very common among women. The effects and causes are different from men and women.
For women, this condition occurs from a range of reasons, from reproductive hormones to family stress. It is important to understand this condition so that it can be treated and the person can start to live a normal life. Diagnosis of this illness is very critical. The Assessment Tool to be used is the key to determining whether the adult female is suffering from chronic depression or is simply experiencing normal feelings of sadness and stress.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Rorschach Inkblot Test are two of the most popular clinical personality assessment tools used to determine “personality functioning, current emotional state, the presence, nature and severity of psychopathology, as well as to formulate treatment interventions” (Ganellen, 1996, p. 1). Despite controversial issues questioning their validity and reliability, they continue to be the most preferred personality tests among psychologists and psychiatrists. On the one hand, the MMPI is an objective personality measure that requires a yes or no answer to 565 numbered questions.
This is in a paper and pencil format and recently answered and processed using the computer. The MMPI has four versions, the MMPI, MMPI-2, MMPI-A, and the latest, MMPI-3 (Karp, 2000). These were made to strengthen the validity of the test, currently with ten scales that will validate clinical results, and this includes scale for depression. MMPI “assumes validity of each item” (Hood & Johnson, n. d. , p. 149). This is one of the major complaints on the test, because it is self-reporting, the respondent is capable of creating an impression of her personality, the way she wants it to appear and the answers will be taken at face value.
Since it is believed that most individuals suffering from depression usually do not admit that they exhibit depressive symptoms, MMPI may lead to provide unreliable and misleading diagnosis. On the other hand, Rorschach Inkblot test is a projective personality test where the individual projects his interpretations of ten abstract designs or inkblots, and these are analyzed by a competent examiner as a measure of the individual’s intellectual and emotional functioning. Critics of this assessment tool claim that the Rorschach is subjective and that there are no sufficient tests for its reliability.
Results of the test are considered subjective where the examiner relies on his “gut impressions, intuition and personal preoccupations rather than saying anything tangible and substantial about a particular patient” (Ganellen, 1996, p. 5). All personality assessment tools are not pure measures of personality. The MMPI has been most widely used because of its validity scales and the rigid researches that it has undergone through the years. The Rorschach Inkblot Test depends on the expertise of the examiner and may be too subjective to be reliable.
Diagnosing patients with chronic depression may be too dangerous to rely on just one assessment tool. In order to reduce the doubts on the credibility of the MMPI and the Rorschach Inkblot test and other clinical assessment tools, it is best to go through a battery of tests that will strengthen the reliability of results. Taking both the MMPI and the Rorschach or a tool that integrates both tests is a better option and may come up with better diagnosis for chronic depression especially among adult women (Ganellen, 1996). References Ganellen, Ronald, (1996).
Integrating the Rorschach and the MMPI-2 in Personality Assessment. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved 14 January 2009 from http://www. questia. com/read Hood, Albert & Richard Johnson, (n. d. ). “Personality Inventories” Assessment in Counseling 4th Edition. American Counseling Association. Chapter 11. Karp, Cheryl & Leonard Karp, (2000). “MMPI, Questions to Ask”. Retrieved 14 January 2009 from http://www. falseallegations. com/mmpi-bw. htm “Rorschach Inkblot Test”, (2006). A2ZPsychology. com. Retrieved 14 January 2009 from http://www. a2zpsychology. com/psychology_guide/rorschach. htm