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Supplementary Scales

Definitions of MMPI-2: Supplementary Scales


Generally, T65 should be considered "High", and below T40 "Low." Since, these scales are not K-corrected, many of them are effected by response bias. Be sure to look at L, F and K before interpreting them.


A Anxiety - Welsh (1954). (39 items). High: Manifest anxiety and depression, pessimistic, apathetic, shy, lacks self-confidence, externalizes blame and disorganized. Low: Denies feelings of anxiety, self-confident, competitive, manipulative, extroverted and active. Correlates .93 with Wiggins Depression, .92 with Dependency, .89 with Wiggins Poor Morale, .86 with D5 Brooding, and .68 with Psychasthenia. This is Welsh's first factor of the MMPI items. What you get is a general psychopathology scale, not just "anxiety". The items are obvious and therefore sensitive to response bias. Welsh's A is more pathological than scale 7 Pyschasthenia. The A factor may represent ego-alien symptoms, whereas 7 is more characterlogical anxiety.


R Repression - Welsh (1954). (37 items). High: Utilizing repression, denial, rationalization, lacking self-insight, unwilling to discuss personal shortcomings, conventional, constricted and over-controlled. Low: Outgoing, talkative, excitable, emotional, willing to discuss personal problems, extroverted, dominant, impulsive, and aggressive. Correlates -.55 Wiggins Hypomania, -.55 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility, and .49 D-S Denial. I use R to help detect subtle fake good profiles. If R is greater than T 69, and the clinical scales look normal, consider them defensively submerged. Caldwell (1988) calls this scale "Constriction."  High R's are difficult to treat in insight therapy.


MAC-R Alcoholism - MacAndrew (1965). (49 items). High: Elevations of the MAC-R Scale represent an overall addiction-prone personality. The addictions may be to alcohol or drugs, tobacco, caffeine, or activities, e.g., gambling. High scores are generally considered to be raw scores of 28 or more. Social imperturbability, authority conflicts, impulsive, unusual and bizarre thoughts, interests in stereotypic masculine interests, psychosomatic complaints, extroverted, feelings of guilt, regrets over past deeds, feels victimized, likes to cook, admits to having blank spells, enjoys gambling, insensitive, magical thinking, narcissistic, ostentatious, not introspective,not intellectually oriented, difficulty concentrating and an idealization and devaluation of women. Low: Less than a Raw score of 24 in an individual is not likely to be addicted to activities or substances. Insightful, sensitive, rational, shy and good impulse control. Mac wasn't correlated to any of the other scales in my sample. Nichols (1989) reports moderate correlations with Ma, AUT, HOS, and HYP. It's a unique subtle scale. It will detect addiction proneness, even with the most defensive individuals. It seems to measure an enduring trait of oral narcissism. This scale represents an excellent example of my belief in subtle empirical scales. MacAndrew removed two items making obvious reference to alcohol. MAC-R has 4 religious items removed and replaced with obvious items concerning alcohol and drug abuse. This should help make it less an "Irish Catholic" scale.


Es Ego-Strength - Barron (1953c). (52 items). High: The Ego Strength scale, like the other positive personality scales, is susceptible to faking to look good. If this is indicated, the Ego Strength scale is not predictive of individuals likely to benefit from insight psychotherapy. Typically, high scorers are able to tolerate the confrontations in psychotherapy and benefit from them, tend to lack chronic psychopathology, be alert, persistent, self-confident, intelligent and resourceful, excellent reality testing, good interpersonal coping skills, strongly developed interests, somewhat rebellious, competitive, and cynical. Low: More likely to be diagnosed as borderline or psychotic than neurotic, poor self-concept, feels helpless, has chronic physical complaints, chronic fatigue, phobias, withdrawn, confused, inhibited, stereotypic approach to problems, rigid, moralistic, exaggerates problems and a poor work history. Correlates -.80 with D-O, -.77 with Hy-O, -.76 with D1 Subjective Depression, -.74 Wiggins Depression, and -.74 D. One of the most important MMPI-2 scales. Caldwell (1988) considers Es a "practical self-sufficiency" scale. Low scorers have trouble making it on their own.


Do Dominance - Gough, McClosky, &Meehl (1957a). (25 items). High: Assertive, resourceful, likely to hold positions of responsibility or leadership, realistic and task-oriented, perseveres, good reality testing and optimistic. Low: Pessimistic, lacks self-confidence, rigid in their problem- solving approaches, low tolerance for frustration, unrealistic and undependable. Correlates -.81 with Pd-O, -.76 Welsh Anxiety, -.74 with Wiggins Depression, and -.73 with Dependency. A good scale of confidence and ability to manage personal problems and responsibilities. Not related bossiness unless 4 and/or 9 are also elevated (Caldwell,1988).


Re Social Responsibility - Gough, McClosky &Meehl (1957a). (30 items). High: (>T59) Sense of duty, strong standards , self-confident, confidence in others, strong sense of justice and ethical concerns. Low: Unwilling to accept responsibility for own behaviors, undependable, not likely to assume positions of leadership or responsibility within a group. Correlates -.69 with Ma-O, -.68 with Sc5 Defective Inhibition, -.63 with Wiggins Psychoticism, and -.63 with Pd-O. Duckworth and Anderson (1986) suggest that Re represents the acceptance or rejection of a previously held value system.

O-H Overcontrolled Hostility - Megargee,Cook &Mendelson (1967). (28 items). High: High scores report an absence of symptoms such as anxiety and depression, tendency to use denial and repression, compliant and unassertive, chronic anger, and persistent dreaming. For individuals who are not psychopathic, borderline or psychotic, O-H is not predictive of assaultive behaviors, but the rigid control of aggressive impulses. Low: Admitting to anxiety, depression and aggressive impulses. Correlates -.73 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility, -.61 with Welsh Anxiety, and .60 with K. Walters and Greene (1983) found five factors in O-H: Absence of Manifest Symptomatology, Denial, Chronic Hostility, Persistent Dreaming, and Social Compliance. This scale was developed by comparing overcontrolled prison inmates who committed or attempted murder to prison inmates who commonly were assaultive. These prisoners did not have a history of aggression, but were pushed too far and exploded homicidally. How useful this scale is out of the context of prisoners is questionable? (Finney's Unconscious Acting Out Hostility is a far more valuable scale). High functioning normals will have moderately high scores, since they are reporting little anxiety, depression and anger. Neurotics with high scores tend to be very uptight, defensive and overcontrolled. Psychopaths, borderlines and psychotics with high scores may swing from being overcontrolled to becoming unexpectedly assaultive.


Ho-Hostility (Cook and Medley, 1954) (50 items); developed to predict teachers rapport with students based on their scores on the Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory; highly correlates with CYN, (negatively with K), TPA, ASP, Sc and moderately with ANG, BIZ, TRT, and Pt. The basic factor structure reflects Cynicism, Hypersensitivity, Aggressive responding, and Social avoidance. This scale is often used in research, which shows a relationship with disease, a good over all measure of high levels of anger, cynicism, unfriendliness, anxiety, depression and suspicion.


Mt College Maladjustment - Kleinmuntz (1962). (41 items). High: Developed to identify students in need of treatment. Psychosomatic complaints, poor concentration, lethargy, depression, lack of self-confidence, irritable, overly sensitive, sleep disturbance and anxiety. Low: Motivated, energetic, optimistic, self-confident and good judgment. Correlates .90 with D-O, .90 with D4 Mental Dullness, .89 with Welsh Anxiety, and .89 with D1 Subjective Depression. This scale picks up subjective distress in a crisis.


Cn Control of Psychopathology - Cuadra (1953). (50 items). High: For individuals with elevated clinical scales, high Cn score indicates an ability to control problems and inhibit their manifest expression. A high Cn score and the absence of marked elevations in clinical scales suggests a reserved and unemotional individual. High scorers may be aware of weaknesses, overly sensitive to social criticism, have non-traditional religious beliefs, rebellious towards authority, exploring, risk-taking and realistic. Low: Low scores without marked elevations on the clinical scales generally suggest the absence of serious psychopathology. Low scores with elevations in clinical scales suggest people who have difficulty controlling their impulses or behaviors. They may require milieu management such as hospitalization. They may also tend to be conventional, moralistic, have traditional religious beliefs and unrealistic self-appraisal. Correlates .66 with Wiggins Manifest Hostility, and .62 with Welsh Anxiety. A complex scale that must be interpreted according to it's context. This is a very useful scale, but because of it's complexity it's often misunderstood. High scorers in my sample seem to be aware of their problems, and have the ego strength to appear well adjusted.


Pr Prejudice - Gough (1951b). (32 items). High: (>T59) Envious, anti-intellectual, rigid beliefs, cynical and distrustful, pessimistic, devalues others, bitter, dogmatic, and interpersonal discomfort. < T45) Open-minded, optimistic, intellectual interests, trusting and self-confident. > Low: (P> Correlates .80 with Wiggins Authority Conflicts, .78 with Si5 Distrust, and .73 with Sc1 Social Alienation. This is a very important unique subtle scale. Originally, developed on people with anti-Semitic attitudes, the scale measures dogmatic and defensive thinking in hostile individuals. High scorers tend to have lower I.Q.'s than low scorers. The scale is empirical evidence that anti-Semites are mentally ill and dumb. Why was this scale was omitted from the MMPI-2?


Dy Dependency - Navran (1952b). (57 items). High: (>T59) Generally maladjusted, consciously admits to strong dependency needs, feels misunderstood, indecisive, lack of self-confidence, overly sensitive, and somatic complaints. Low: Independent, or denies dependency needs, feels understood, happy, and self-confident. Correlates .92 with Welsh Anxiety, .90 with Wiggins Depression, and .87 with Wiggins Poor Morale. This is a rationally derived content scale with all obvious items. It relates to the admission of general psychopathology.


Lbp Low Back Pain - Hanvik (1949). (25 items). High: (mixed >T57, functional >T69) More likely that chronic low back pain is functional, and less likely to find relief from surgery. Moderate elevations between T57 and T69 and more likely to have a mixed organic-functional syndrome. A variety of psychosomatic complaints, restless, tends to cover up feelings of inadequacies or insecurities, reserved, appears overtly comfortable in social situations while there is an underlying tension and discomfort the person tends to deny. Low: If low back pain complaints, then contraindicative of a functional disorder, somatic complaints limited to low back pain, generally happy and contented, does not deny feelings of aggression and shy. Correlates .56 with Hs, and .54 with Hy. A unique and subtle scale of defensiveness.


Ca Caudality - Williams (1952a). (36 items). Developed to discriminate between OBS patients with frontal lobe versus parietal lobe brain damage. Raw score of 11 differentiated at a 98% hit rate. Generally should not be used as a test for organicity. High: If OBS, may have posterial localization of damage. Frontal lobe damage does not generally cause emotional symptoms. For non-OBS patients; a general measure of reported psychological discomfort, feelings of anxiety and depression, physical complaints, fear of losing control, and difficulty dealing with stress. Low: If OBS, consider frontal lobe involvement. For non-OBS patients: Denies complaints of anxiety, depression, and somatic difficulties. Self-confidence, control of emotions and thoughts. Correlates .89 with Welsh Anxiety, and .89 with D1 Subjective Depression. Ca is just another scale of manifest anxiety.


St Social Status - Gough (1957a). (34 items). High: (>T59) Self-assurance, poise, intelligent, may be academically successful, desires the nicer things in life, reserved in regard to personal problems, conventional, ambitious, and may be motivated to change in psychotherapy. Low: Typical of someone from a lower social class, lack of self- confidence, submissive, non-ambitious, low self-esteem. Correlates -.69 with Prejudice, and -.64 with Si. An important prognostic indicator for responsiveness to psychotherapy.


Supplemental Scales


GM Masculine Sex Role - Peterson (1988). (47 items). Stoic denial of aches, pains, complaints, or weaknesses. Denial of psychological fears or problems. Traditional masculine interests such as science and technology, adventure and rough play versus romance stories, poetry, library work, nursing, plants and flowers. Independent and confident, and a denial of concern over appearance.


GF Feminine Sex Role - Peterson (1988). (46 items). Traditional feminine interests such as liking plants and flowers, poetry, cooking, playing house, hopscotch, jump rope. Constricted, moralistic, prudish, critical of sexual and aggressive expressions, concern for appearance, mother identification, socializing as an emotional outlet, dislikes traditional male interests such as sports, hunting, military interests, mechanics magazines, and building; overly sensitive, did not act out as a child or as an adolescent, not confident, well mannered, and family loyalty.


Pk Post-traumatic Stress Disorder - Keane, Malloy &Fairbanks (1984). (46 items). Will not differentiate between people with serious severe psychopathology such as borderlines or basically healthy people with a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Guilt, remorse, resentment, feeling misunderstood, loss of emotional control, poor concentration, poor memory, hostility, poor sleep, nightmares, depression, lack of confidence, anxiety, obsessional thoughts, bizarre thoughts, and social avoidance.


Ps Post-traumatic Stress Disorder - Schlenger (1987). (60 items). Will not be able to differentiate between individuals with severe enduring psychopathology and people with a Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Similar to the Pk Scale, but appears to have a bit more emphasis on psychosomatic and fatigue problems, fear of going crazy, losing one's mind, and sense of dread in addition to feelings of guilt, remorse, resentment, feeling misunderstood, loss of emotional controls, poor concentration, poor memory, hostility, poor sleep, nightmares, depression, lack of confidence, anxiety and obsessional thoughts, bizarre thoughts, and social avoidance.




(Harkness, McNulty, & Ben-Porath, 1995)


These are five rationally deduced content scales to assess the domain of traits often found in personality disorders.


NEN- Negative emotionality/ Neuroticism (33 items); highly correlated with A and Pt;  -worry, stress, hypersensitivity, anger, and emotional under control.


PSY- Psychoticism (25 items); highly correlated with F, Sc, Pa, and Morey’s Paranoid Personality Disorder scale; high scores have-poor reality testing, are suspicious, delusional and hostile.


DIS- Disconstraint (28 items); moderately correlates with ASP and Morey’s Antisocial Personality Disorder scale; high scores tend to have an insufficient delay of gratification, be unreliable, rebellious, hedonistic, and acting out.


AGG- Aggressiveness (18 items); moderately correlates with Ma, ANG, TPA, and with Morey’s Narcissistic and Histrionic scales, and less so with the Antisocial Personality scale.  High scores tend to be grandiose, resentful, cold, and at times cruel.  This scale assesses narcissistic hostility. 


LPE- Low positive emotionality (34 items); highly correlates with D, Si, DEP, SOD, and with Morey’s Avoidant, Schizotypal and Schizoid scales.  It negatively correlates with Morey’s Narcissistic and Histrionic scales.  High scores have low energy, withdrawn, anhedonia, and low self-esteem; high NEN has more anxiety, whereas LPE has more a Schizoid or Depressive emotional life.


Other Valuable Scales


These are scales that I have found to add significantly to assessment in a unique way. They assess subtle hostility and are often one of the only elevated scales in a fake to look good profile. They work when other scales quit. The keys could be found in Dahlstrom, Welsh and Dahlstrom vol.II (1975).


Habitual Criminalism - Panton (1962a). A good scale of subtle paranoia, externalization of blame, and defensiveness.
Unconscious Acting Out Hostility- Finney (1965a). A great measure of passive-aggression.


Cognitive Stability Scales


(Nichols, D. S., 2011. Essentials of MMPI-2 Assessment, 2nd Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.)


Cognitive Stability Scales (Nichols, 2008)


The Cognitive Stability Scales, Cognitive Problems (CogProb) and Disorganization (DisOrg), seek to maximally separate item content referencing the normal-range cognitive difficulties (memory, concentration, judgment) that are commonly seen in non-psychotic disorders, especially depression, from that referencing explicit non-paranoid psychotic processes.


CogProb – Cognitive Problems (12 items) I have found his “Cognitive Problems” also a good measure of possible ADD- something the MMPI-2 could use.


DisOrg – Disorganization (11 items)

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