Definitions of MMPI/MMPI-2: Basic Scales and Sub-scales  6-0

6 (Pa) Paranoia - Hathaway & McKinley (1956). (40 items). High: Suspicious, hostile, overly sensitive, ideas of reference, delusions of persecution or grandiosity, vengeful, and utilizes projection. Low: Insensitive, defensive, and shy. Correlates .77 with Pa-O, .73 with Pa2 Poignancy, .67 with Psychasthenia, .65 with Pa1 Persecutory Ideas, .62 with Hy-O, .62 with Wiggins Psychoticism, and .57 with Pa-S. A good scale of persecutory paranoia. It does not assess the other types of non-bizarre delusions, i.e. Erotomanic (delusional fanatical love), Grandiose, Jealous and Somatic. The only false positives are when, in reality, they have someone out to get them. This is the only scale I know where high scores or low scores could mean the same thing- paranoia.
 

PaO Paranoia-Obvious - Weiner (1948). (23 items). High: Persecutory ideas, feeling misunderstood and abused, feeling depressed, projection of blame and suspicious. Low: Denies persecutory ideation. Correlates .87 with Pa1 Persecutory Ideas, .85 with Wiggins Psychoticism, .77 with Pa, .76 with Wiggins Depression, and .73 with Pa2 Poignancy. Pa-O and Pa1 are basically the same, both measuring persecutory ideas. Both are more pathological than Pa.

PaS Paranoia-Subtle - Weiner (1948). (17 items). High: Naively trusting, may feel victimized, the idealizing side of the splitting (PaO = Bad Object and PaS = Good Object). Low: Resentful, distrusting and punitive. Correlates .84 with Pa3 Naiveté, -.62 with Wiggins Authority Conflicts, .57 with Pa, .52 with Hy2 Need for Affection, and .47 with Hy-S. Pa-S and Pa3 in normals assess trustfulness, the opposite of paranoia. In individuals with paranoid tendencies, Pa-S and Pa3 assess the idealizing side of splitting. The object relations of paranoids are based on their rigid beliefs. People are either all good or all bad to them. Their object relations are not based on object constancy and reality testing, but the projection of good and bad internal objects. Pa-O and Pa1 are on the negative side of the split, and Pa-S and Pa3 are on the positive side of the split. When people with paranoid tendencies trust, it is usually a set up to feel betrayed.

Pa1 Persecutory Ideas - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (17 items). High: Externalizes blame, utilizes projection, feels misunderstood and suspicious. Low: Feels understood, trusting, and denies persecutory ideas. Correlates .87 with Pa-O, .80 with Wiggins Psychoticism, .69 Prejudice, .69 with Pd4 Social Alienation, and .68 with Wiggins Depression. Pa1 and Pa-O are the most pathological aspects of Pa. These scales assess delusions of persecution, unless someone is really out to get them.

Pa2 Poignancy - Harris & Lingoes (1955).( 9 items). High: High-strung, overly sensitive, overly subjective, feels misunderstood, seeks out excitement and acts out. Low: Feels understood and not likely to act out. Correlates .73 with Pa-O, .71 with Wiggins Psychoticism, .68 with Dependency, and .68 with Welsh Anxiety. A good scale of "thin-skinness," an aspect of paranoids. Pa2 is a good subtle scale of paranoia.

Pa3 Naiveté - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (9 items). High: Naive about others, and sees self and others as trustworthy and honest with high moral standards, and denies hostility. Low: Suspicious of others, admits to feeling of hostility and resentment. Correlates .84 with Pa-S,-.81 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility,.72 with Hy2 Need for Affection, -.69 with Prejudice, and .65 with Hy-S. See comments on Pa-S. Pa3 is a measure of trustfulness with normals. It is a measure of the idealizing side of splitting in paranoia.

7 (Pt) Psychasthenia - Hathaway & McKinley (1942). (48 items). High: Obsessive-compulsive anxiety, tendency towards phobias, irrational fears, high-strung, difficulty concentrating, lack of self-confidence, rigidly moralistic, perfectionistic and dependent. Low: Well adjusted, free from anxiety, self-confident, and a wide range of interests. Correlates .81 with Schizophrenia,.80 with Depression-Obvious,.77 with D1, and .75 with Hy-O. Scale 7 measures anxiety which is a common element to several scales. That's why there is so much overlap with Schizophrenia (8), Depression (2) and Hysteria (3). When scale 7 is at least 10 T scores over scale 8, there is more compensation and a better prognosis, than the other way around. Since scale 7 is so homogenous and obvious, it has no subscales, and needs all the raw scores of K to correct for defensiveness.

8 (Sc) Schizophrenia - Hathaway & McKinley (1956). (78 items). High: breakdown of reality testing, feelings of unreality, insecurities, schizoidal trends, alienation, shy, anxiety, over-investment in fantasy, sexual preoccupation, non-conforming, immature and disorganized thinking. Low: Friendly, reasonable, conventional, practical, and unimaginative. Correlates .81 with Pt, .73 with Hy-O, .72 with Sc1 Social Alienation, .72 with Wiggins Psychoticism, .70 with Sc5 Defective Inhibition, and .69 Depression-Obvious. One of the best scales anywhere of serious psychopathology. When scale 8 is one of the highest elevated scales on the profile, consider a borderline or psychotic personality structure. Sc is made up of all obvious items, and as with Pt, requires all the raw scores of K to correct for defensiveness.

Sc1 Social Alienation - Harris & Lingoes (1955). ( 21 items). High: Feels misunderstood and alienated, feels others have it in for them or wish them harm, describes family as lacking in love and support, admits never having been in love, and avoids social relationships. Low: Feels understood and loved, denies hostility towards family and enjoys rewarding social relationships. Correlates .80 with Wiggins Family Problems, .80 with Wiggins Psychoticism,.78 with Welsh Anxiety, and .77 with Dependency. This scale picks up the sequelae of having been a scapegoat and abused within the family of origin.

Sc2 Emotional Alienation - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (11 items). High: Depression, sado-masochistic tendencies and apathy. Low: Feels optimistic, and enjoys healthy relationships with others. Correlates .83 with Sc4 Lack of Ego Mastery- Conative, .82 with Wiggins Depression, .78 with Pd5 Self-Alienation, .78 with D5 Brooding, and .78 with D1 Subjective Depression. Sc2, Sc3, and Sc4 overlap great deal. They all relate to depression and apathy. Sc2 is more apathy and brooding. Sc3 is more mental dullness and problems with thinking. Sc4 is a combination of Sc2 and Sc3.

Sc3 Lack of Ego Mastery, Cognitive - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (10 items). High: Feelings of unreality, difficulty in concentration, and fear of losing control of thoughts. Low: Denies difficulty in concentration, feelings of unreality or unusual thought processes. Correlates .83 with Sc4, .81 with D4 Mental Dullness, and .78 with Wiggins Psychoticism. Sc3 should be called "Thought Disorder."

Sc4 Lack of Ego Mastery, Conative - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (14 items).High: Depression, difficulty coping, inertia, regression into fantasy, pessimistic, and may have suicidal ideation. Low: Feels life is worthwhile and has energy to cope. Correlates .86 with D4 Mental Dullness, .83 with Sc2 Emotional Alienation, .83 with Sc3 Lack of Ego Mastery, Cognitive, .82 with D1 Subjective Depression, and .81 with Wiggins Depression. Sc4 combines Sc2 and Sc3,that is problems with depression and thought.

Sc5 Lack of Ego Mastery, Defective Inhibition - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (11 items). High: Feels not in control of emotions or impulses, irritable, hyperactive, and dissociation of affect. Low: Denies feeling out of control of impulses or emotions. Correlates .80 with Hypomania-Obvious, .76 with Dependency, .75 with Welsh Anxiety, and .74 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility. The best subscale of Sc. Important in assessing impulse control.

Sc6 Bizarre Sensory Experiences - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (20 items). High: May admit to hallucinations, ideas of external influence, strange tactile sensations, auditory or kinesthetic distortions. Low: Denies experiencing change in bodily image or sensations or feelings of depersonalization. Correlates .78 with Wiggins Organic Symptoms, .65 with Hypomania-Obvious, and .65 with Wiggins Psychoticism. Assess somatic delusions rather than somatization found with neurotics. Should be called, "Somatic Delusions." Caldwell (1988) calls this scale, "Sensorimotor Dissociation".

9 Ma Hypomania - Hathaway & McKinley (1944). (46 items). High: Hyperactive, impulsive, difficulty in delaying gratification, narcissistic, irritable and extroverted. Low: Low energy and activity level, fatigue, depression and withdrawn. Correlates .83 with Hypomania-Subtle, .73 with Ma2 Psychomotor Acceleration,.71 with Hypomania-Obvious, .66 with Ma4 Ego Inflation, .61 with Wiggins Hypomania, and .53 Ma1 Amorality. Note that scale 9 (Ma) is the only scale where the Subtle items correlate more with the scale than the Obvious items. Hypomania is a fairly subtle scale. It can be the only elevated scale in a defensively submerged profile. It will detect narcissistic, paranoid (grandiose type), psychopathic, histrionic personality traits, and a hypomanic affective state. The subscales are very helpful. Ma-O is very pathological, while Ma-S and Ma3 are not necessarily pathological. Scale 9 is known to activate the other scales, leading to an acting out of the disturbed ideation. 

Ma-O Hypomania-Obvious- Weiner (1948). ( 23 items). High: Poor impulse control, acting out, grandiose, thrill-seeking and exploitive. Low: Denies having poor impulse control, or acting out, is not thrill-seeking, humble and practical. Correlates .80 with Sc5 Defective Inhibition, .79 with Ma2 Psychomotor Acceleration, .71 with Ma, .69 with Wiggins Psychoticism, .69 with Ma4 Ego Inflation, .67 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility, and .66 with Wiggins Hypomania. The correlations reflect the high degree of psychopathology in this scale, far more than Ma. These are the sorts of people who have a lot of energy, but shouldn't.

Ma-S Hypomania-Subtle - Weiner (1948). (23 items).High: Social imperturbability, extroverted, insensitive and thrill-seeking. Low: Shy, insecure and indecisive. Correlates .83 with Ma, .53 with Ma3 Imperturbability, .51 with Pd3 Social Imperturbability, .47 with Ma2 Psychomotor Acceleration, .46 with Ma4 Ego Inflation, and -.45 with Si. Ma-S, as with Hy1, Pd3, and Ma3, simply means extroversion in normals, but in the context of psychopathology, it means insensitivity.

Ma1 Amorality - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (6 items). High: Justifies manipulativeness by projecting own selfish opportunistic and exploitive tendencies onto others. Low: Denies that other people are selfish, opportunistic, and manipulative. Correlates .53 with Ma, and .49 with Wiggins Authority Conflicts. A unique scale. It's not as pathological as "Amorality" sounds. It would be better to call it, "Manipulativeness", or what Alex Caldwell (1988) calls it, "Opportunism."

Ma2 Psychomotor Acceleration - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (11 items). High: Accelerated speech, thoughts, motor activity, tense, and seeks out risks or danger to overcome boredom. Low: Denies tension, avoids risk or danger, complacent and calm. Correlates .79 with Wiggins Hypomania, .79 with Hypomania-Obvious, .73 with Ma, .67 with Sc5 Defective Inhibition, -.59 Social Responsibility, and .56 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility. A rather pathological scale of acting out tendencies.


Ma3 Imperturbability - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (8 items). High: Little concern about the opinions and values of others,

denies social anxiety and extroverted. Low: Introverted, easily influenced by the opinions of others, and denies impatience with others. Correlates -.69 with Wiggins Social Maladjustment, .65 with Pd3 Social Imperturbability, -.64 with Si, .64 with Hy1 Denial of Social Anxiety, and .54 with Ego strength. See comments on Ma-S, HY1 and Pd3. Ma3 in normals means trustfulness and extroversion. In the context of psychopathology it is associated with defensiveness and insensitivity.

Ma4 Ego Inflation - Harris & Lingoes (1955). (9 items). High: Grandiose, over-estimates own worth, resentful and impatient with others. Low: Realistic notion of self-worth, or self-critical and denies resentment towards others who make demands on them. Correlates .69 with Ma-O, .66 with Ma, and .56 with Wiggins Hypomania. A good scale for picking up ego-syntonic grandiosity in paranoids or narcissistic personalities.

O Si Social Introversion - Drake (1946). (69 items). High: Timid, shy, hard to get to know, overly-sensitive, over-controlled, submis­sive, conventional, cautious, rigid and moody. Low: Socially extroverted, talkative, energetic, interest in status and recognition, competitive, narcissistic, superficial, and manipulative. Correlates .94 with Si1 Inferiority-Personal Discomfort, .89 with Wiggins Social Maladjustment, -.83 with Pd3 Social Imperturbability, .81 with Si2 Discomfort with Others, and .75 with Wiggins Poor Morale. A very reliable personality trait that many researchers believe is at least partly a matter of genes. The test retest correlation after 30 years is .74 (Gynther, 1979). The more Si is greater than Sc the better; the more likely the person is avoidant rather than schizoid. Low scores can sometimes be the only sign of narcissism on the profile. The subscales aren't very helpful, since Si is so homogeneous.

Si1 Shyness/Self-consciousness - Hostetler, et al. (1989) (14 items). High: Uncomfortable in social situations, shy, easily embarrassed, avoids making small talk and uncomfortable in new situations.


Si2 Social Avoidance - Hostetler, et al. (1989). (8 items). High: Dislikes contact and activities with others, dislikes parties, gatherings, dances, and socials.

Si3 Self-alienation, Self and Other - Hostetler, et al. (1989). (17 items). High: Self and other critical, suspicious of others, puts one own self down, feels inadequate, lacks self-esteem and self-confidence, poor concentration, depressed, obsessive thoughts, jealous. This is the most pathological of the three Hostetler subscales. 

The Institute for Advanced

Psychological Training

1983-2011 Robert M. Gordon, Ph.D. ABPP.
Licensed Psychologist All Rights Reserved.

  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle