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Self-report inventory

Self-report inventory

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A self-report inventory is a type of psychological test in which a person fills out a survey or questionnaire
Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case...

 with or without the help of an investigator. Self-report inventories often ask direct questions about symptoms, behaviors, and personality traits associated with one or many mental disorders or personality types in order to easily gain insight into a patient's personality or illness. Most self-report inventories can be taken or administered within five to 15 minutes, although some, like the MMPI
MMPI
MMPI may refer to:*Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, one of the most frequently used personality tests in mental health*Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, inhibits cell migration and has antiangiogenic effects...

, can take up to three hours to fully complete. There are three major approaches to developing self-report inventories: theory-guided, factor analysis
Factor analysis
Factor analysis is a statistical method used to describe variability among observed, correlated variables in terms of a potentially lower number of unobserved, uncorrelated variables called factors. In other words, it is possible, for example, that variations in three or four observed variables...

, and criterion-key. Theory-guided inventories are constructed around a theory of personality. Criterion-keyed inventories are based around questions that have been shown to statistically discriminate between a control group and a criterion group. Questionnaires typically use one of three formats: a Likert scale
Likert scale
A Likert scale is a psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires. It is the most widely used approach to scaling responses in survey research, such that the term is often used interchangeably with rating scale, or more accurately the Likert-type scale, even though...

, true-false, or forced choice. True-false involves questions that the individual denotes as either being true or false about themselves. Forced-choice is a pair of statements that require the individual to choose one as being most representative of themselves.

Self-report inventories can have validity problems. Patients may exaggerate symptoms in order to make their situation seem worse, or they may under-report the severity or frequency of symptoms in order to minimize their problems. Another issue is the social desirability bias
Social desirability bias
Social desirability bias is the tendency of respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others. It can take the form of over-reporting good behavior or under-reporting bad behavior. The tendency poses a serious problem with conducting research with self-reports,...

.

Problems with Self-report inventories


The biggest problem with self-report inventories is that patients may exaggerate symptoms in order to make their situation seem worse, or they may under-report the severity or frequency of symptoms in order to minimize their problems. For this reason, self-report inventories should be used only for measuring for symptom change and severity and should never be solely used to diagnose a mental disorder. Clinical discretion is advised for all self-report inventories.

Many personality tests, such as the MMPI
MMPI
MMPI may refer to:*Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, one of the most frequently used personality tests in mental health*Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, inhibits cell migration and has antiangiogenic effects...

 or the MBTI add questions that are designed to make it very difficult for a person to exaggerate traits and symptoms. However, these tests suffer from the inherent problems associated with personality theory and testing, in that personality is a fluid concept that can be difficult to define.

Popular Self-Report Inventories

  • 16 PF
  • Beck Anxiety Inventory
    Beck Anxiety Inventory
    The Beck Anxiety Inventory , created by Dr. Aaron T. Beck and other colleagues, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory that is used for measuring the severity of an individual's anxiety.-BAI:...

  • Beck Depression Inventory
    Beck Depression Inventory
    The Beck Depression Inventory , created by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory, one of the most widely used instruments for measuring the severity of depression...

  • Beck Hopelessness Scale
    Beck Hopelessness Scale
    The Beck Hopelessness Scale is a 20-item self-report inventory developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck that was designed to measure three major aspects of hopelessness: feelings about the future, loss of motivation, and expectations...

  • California Psychological Inventory
    California Psychological Inventory
    The California Psychological Inventory is a self-report inventory created by Harrison Gough and currently published by Consulting Psychologists Press. The test was first published in 1956, and the most recent revision was published in 1987. It was created in a similar manner to the Minnesota...

  • Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
    Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
    In psychology, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire is a questionnaire to assess the personality traits of a person.It was devised by the psychologists Hans J├╝rgen Eysenck and his wife Sybil B. G. Eysenck....

  • Geriatric Depression Scale
    Geriatric Depression Scale
    The Geriatric Depression Scale is a 30-item self-report assessment used to identify depression in the elderly.-Description:The GDS questions are answered "yes" or "no", instead of a five-category response set. This simplicity enables the scale to be used with ill or moderately cognitively impaired...

  • Hirschfeld Mood Disorder Questionnaire
  • Kuder Occupational Interest Survey
  • Major Depression Inventory
    Major Depression Inventory
    The Major Depression Inventory is a self-report mood questionnaire developed by the World Health Organisation. The instrument was constructed by a team led by Professor Per Bech, a psychiatrist based at Frederiksborg General Hospital in Denmark...

  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
    Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
    The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is one of the most frequently used personality tests in mental health. The test is used by trained professionals to assist in identifying personality structure and psychopathology....

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
    Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions...

  • Personality Inventory for Children-2
  • Revised NEO Personality Inventory
    Revised NEO Personality Inventory
    The Revised NEO Personality Inventory, or NEO PI-R, is a psychological personality inventory; a 240-item measure of the Five Factor Model: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience. Additionally, the test measures six subordinate dimensions of each of...

  • State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
    State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
    The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory is a psychological inventory based on a 4-point Likert scale. The STAI measures two types of anxiety-state anxiety, or anxiety about an event, and trait anxiety. Higher scores are positively correlated with higher levels of anxiety...