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16 Pf Personality Test

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:03 AM
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PSYC 100 Paper 2

Wednesdays 9 AM

Resolving the conflict of Reliability vs. Accuracy in the 16 PF test


For psychologists, one of the more popular theories espoused is the trait approach to personality, or “the idea that people have consistent personality characteristics that can be measured and studied” (Kalat, 2002, 512).   However there are several problems that arise.   First, there are significant cross-cultural differences, so one set of personality traits for one culture may differ considerably for another.   The next problem would concern the creation of a test that could accurately measure these traits.   While psychologists have for the most part addressed these issues, I will focus on the latter of the two.   There has been a number of multiple personality tests put to use such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), the Rorschach Inkblots and others.   In our class we were instructed to take the 16 PF personality test in which we would judge for ourselves how accurate the test was based on our own personal experiences.   In judging the usefulness of this test we took into consideration its reliability and validity.   For a test to be reliable it must be able to accurately reflect consistent results for various people that can be agreed upon by researchers and therapists alike.   Reliability in turn relates to validity.   To be valid a test must be dependable producing data that can be used to detect a mental illness or otherwise certain personality dimensions within psychologically healthy individuals.   Furthermore personality tests must be standardized, having data capable of being “interpreted in a prescribed fashion” (Kalat, 2002, 528).   These standards are based on a comparison of a large number of people who have taken the test, one group with a particular disorder and another group who consist of the normal range....


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