The MMPI-3 is coming (and it needs to)

MMPI-3: Revision of MMPI-2 or Marketing Hype?

The MMPI-3 is the next step because the dated psychometric standards that the MMPI/MMPI-2 are based on can’t continue to guide our interpretation of personality constructs. They simply don’t align to modern psychometric practice or to contemporary understanding of what personality is/how it is structured. The concerns outlined in this article do a poor job of representing the literature and I would have expected more from a commentary about the future of the most popular personality instrument. The author doesn’t even cite the rebuttals to the criticisms of the RF, leading the article to be poorly balanced. The RF isn’t perfect and there are numerous ways in which it needs to be refined (e.g., validity scale moderation and detection rates per Ingram & Ternes, 2016). There are also tons of important clinical constructs that aren’t measured (Borderline Personality, etc.), but these patterns are true of the MMPI-2 as well, in addition to the other issues (subtle items add noise not precision, poor homogeneity of scale constructs, etc.). Of course financial and market-based decisions influence these types of advancements, but from a practical standpoint- the RF outperforms the MMPI-2.

The truth is that the MMPI-3 is coming and it needs to. There are problems with the item set that the RF is constructed from – it needs to broaden and that means moving farther from the context of the MMPI-2. This move will allow opportunity to correct some of the issues inherent to the current scales and should allow better alignment to psychometric and psychopathology theory. Transitions aren’t without problems and advancement isn’t always universal, but it is impossible to ignore that the age of the MMPI-2 is past.

Published by Dr. Ingram's Psychology Research Lab

I'm an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Texas Tech University and an active researcher of psychological assessment, veterans, and treatment engagement. I am also in private practice here in Lubbock Texas.

One thought on “The MMPI-3 is coming (and it needs to)

  1. Couldn’t agree more! 100%, especially about the original article not including the appropriate rebuttals.

    I’ve followed your research, and the research on the validity scales is absolutely essential. Many of the items on the validity scales, particularly the under reporting scales, are painfully outdated (as you are aware).



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