Discussion Questions

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Describe at least two projective and two objective personality tests and address the reliability and validity data for each test.

Some of the objective tests are Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is used and researched standardized psychometric test best for adult personality as well as psychopathology. Professionals use different versions of this test in developing treatment plans; help with differential diagnosis; answer legal questions in forensic psychology; assess job candidates in the selection process; or as a therapeutic assessment process. Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, on the other hand, is the questionnaire that assesses individual’s personality traits, with the result being sometimes called the Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (Carducci, 2006). This test primarily focuses on what is often referred to as temperament. Objective tests are relatively free from bias, or any influence of an examiner’s beliefs. Hence, objective tests have higher validity as compared to projective tests.  However, the limitations of objective tests are that they remain subject to willingness as well as the ability of respondents to remain open, honest well as highly self-reflective to represent and portray their real personality. This aspect ends up limiting objective tests’ reliability.

In many cases, projective tests are much more sensitive things an examiner’s beliefs. Among these tests is the Rorschach test which is a psychological test where subjects’ perceptions of inkblots get recorded and analyzed with psychological interpretation or complex algorithms are used.  Unfortunately, this test can be criticized for the fact that has poor reliability as well as validity (Hersen & Hilsenroth, 2004). The reason is that it lacks scientific evidence but relies much on a subjective judgment of clinicians. The other projective test is Thematic Apperception Test that involves open-ended storytelling, with standardization of test administration being virtually nonexistent. This situation makes this test have relatively low validity and even reliability. Projective tests are often considered best used for informational purposes only, and not as a true measure of personality.


Carducci, B. J. (2006): The psychology of personality. Oxford: Blackwell.

Hersen, M., & Hilsenroth, M. J. (2004): Personality assessment. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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