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Test Critique of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 2862 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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By writing this test critique on the Millon clinical multiaxial inventory, I will try to explain the history, why it was developed, as well as explain the layout of the Millon clinical multiaxial inventory. This assessment test is a personality assessment that explains 15 different personality scales, with 10 clinical syndromes, and; finally, 5 validity index. In 1967, Theodore Millon published the first MCMI which consisted of 195 true and false questions. This test could be completed in approximately 30 minutes with a fifth-grade reading level. The test is mainly for adults 18 and over with a mental health diagnosis already. The results from the test will give you some recommendations that will be helpful and therapeutic. The test results themselves are easy to read and the graphs and scales are easy to follow.

Keywords: test, MCMI, personality


Test Critique of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory

General Information

The title of the test I am writing about is called the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV; otherwise, known as the MCMI-IV (Group, 2018.) The authors of the test are Theodore Millon, Ph.D., D.Sc. Seth Grossman, and Psy.D. and Carrie Millon, Ph.D. The first edition was published in 1976. The most recent edition is the fourth edition and is published by Pearson. It is available online, but it does come with a price tag.

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There are 4 different updates that have been redone for the MCMI test. The first version of the MCMI was published in 1976 and was linked to the DSM III (En.wikipedia.org, 2018.) The second revision was published in 1987 (Millon and Bloom, 2008). The third update was published in 1994 that reflected modifications with the DSM IV (Millon and Bloom, 2008). The final change was published in 2015 (Millon and Bloom, 2008). Each revision corresponded with an updated DSM. Each time there was a change in the DMS, the MCMI changed too.

The cost of the test varies depending on whether you take the test online, with computer software or with pencil and paper. The MCMI-III manual print is $67.55 with a digital print costing $42.85 (Pearsonclinical.com, 2018.) When you use the digital material, it is a view only file (Pearsonclinical.com, 2018.) If you wanted to get both the digital and the manual, the cost would be $64.95 (Pearsonclinical.com, 2018.)

The software scoring and reporting also varies. There is profile reports, interpretive reports, as well as test booklets and answer sheets. Each item is priced according to whether you want it is manual print, digital, or even laminated softcover test booklets. The manual print is $67.55 (Pearsonclinical.com, 2018.) If you want to purchase the test booklets there are several options. The softcover comes in a package of 10 and is $38.10 (Pearsonclinical.com, 2018) whereas the laminated softcover test booklets are $12.20 and are sold individually (Pearsonclinical.com, 2018.)

The Millon clinical multiaxial inventory test was developed between 1969 and 1977 and intended more toward adults who are above the age of 18. For this test, a fifth-grade reading is recommended. This test is mainly for a population that is looking for mental health counseling. Some of the primary uses of this test are to measure the 24 personality disorders who are participating in psychiatric treatment (Psych Central, 2018.) Specifically designed to help assess both Axis I and Axis II disorders, this psychological test assists clinicians in psychiatric diagnosis, developing a treatment approach that takes into account the patient’s personality style and coping behavior, and guiding treatment decisions based on the patient’s personality pattern (Psych Central, 2018.)

The MCMI is projective and has different types of alternate forms such as internet based as well as manual forms. The primary assumption of the testing of personalities is the reliability. Clients may project abstruse feelings and depending on the person scoring the test, may give different interpretations of the answers which can vary from scorer to scorer. The price of each test varies whether it is an online test or a paper test. There are answer sheets that you will need before you can score the test. The test can be taken in a clinical office and scored by the computer.

The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory test was developed mainly for those with a disorder or mental health diagnosis already. According to (Ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu, 2018) the original and revised versions of the MCMI were developed as measures of the basic constructs outlined in Millon’s (1969, 1981, 1986a, 1986b) theory of personality and psychopathology. The Millon clinical multiaxial inventory test does not fit well in my text because ADHD is on a totally different scale than that of a personality test. A personality test will test the differences in types of personalities to help the client better cope with their life situations.

Test Description

  The test is a 175 item, true and false, self-report inquiry for that measures 14 personality disorders, and 10 clinical syndromes by means of ordinal scales that measure how copious and how well individuals correspond or match the constructs being measured (MILLON, 1992.) The test is subdivided into 2 sections; characteristic of the personality that is unique to that particular personality, and then characteristic that may be shared with another diagnosis. One has to be mindful of the person being tested because if you ask certain questions from the test, someone who is struggling with hearing voices or hallucinations may become defensive. It would be a good rule of thumb to rephrase such questions where the client will appreciate implications of a true or false question.

 THE MCMI has 15 personality styles and subtypes: retiring/schizoid, shy/avoidant, pessimistic/melancholic, cooperative/dependent, exuberant/hypomanic, sociable/histrionic, confident/narcissistic, non-conforming/antisocial, assertive/sadistic, conscientious/compulsive, skeptical/negativistic, aggrieved/masochistic, eccentric/schizotypal, capricious/borderline, and suspicious/paranoid (Psych Central, 2018.) This test will measure the characteristics of the central constructs of the personality that are made for the disorder, and the other characterizes the constructs more tangential and have a tendency to be shared with one or more alike personality disorders (Anon, 2018.)

 Each of the MCMI personality scales goes hand in hand with the syndrome from personality theories. The MCMI is a test that has a good foundation to help measure and scale different aspects of personalities. By using the MCMI it can help you be more specific in diagnosing as well as the dynamics in the therapeutic setting. The MCMI has been helpful in diagnosing Axis II disorders.

 The purpose of the MCMI is to provide information of the different personality traits that help distinguish between different disorders that correspond with the DSM. The test is only to be used with adults who have at least fifth- grade reading level and are already looking into seeking mental health counseling (En.wikipedia.org, 2018.)

 The test is approximately 30 minutes and has 175 true/false questions. This test is a self-report test where the client answers the questions. A fifth-grade reading level is preferred so that the one taking the test will be able to better understand what is being asked. The MCMI can be taken with pencil and paper or online, whichever the client wishes.

 To administer the MCMI is a level C which requires a high level of expertise in test interpretation (Group, 2018.) A doctorate degree in psychology, education, as well as training in administering clinical tests is a must. A counselor that has a license to practice in there state and be a member of the APA that is relevant to the particular assessment. This particular test does have the online administration option.

 The type of scoring that is used for the MCMI Q-global web-based, Q-Local software, mail-in scoring, or manual scoring (Group, 2018.) The Grossman Facet scales are designed to help interpret the personality patterns and the severe personality pathology scales

(Ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu, 2018.) The test can be scored online if that is what the client wants to do, but there are other ways to score. Scoring by hand is harder to do. The MCMI is more theoretically than empirically based.

Technical Information

 According to (Drummand, Sheperis, & Jones, 2016), the size and demographics of the standardization sample were 6,000 men and 7,000 women of different ages, socioeconomic status, that included high school and college students, teachers, business executives, prison executives, psychiatric patients, and prison inmates.

 The reliability for the MCMI is determined by the internal consistency of the test scales. A high internal consistency is accepted for measures of stable personality characteristics that sow a correlation to the personality disorders main traits such as a score of a coefficient less than .80. Anything below a coefficient of .70 is considered to be a low internal consistency. The lower internal consistency, the less stable are the traits. Overall, the MCMI have been up and down with scores around .73 to .95 (MILLON, 1992.) Test-retest is usually consistent over a longer period of time with adults because adults usually have a more grasp of their own thoughts and behaviors. This test is subject to human error due to the client himself having the potential to be in denial when taking the test or not being truthful. There could also be some discrepancies with how and who scores the test.

 As the test improves, so does the validity of the test. All three forms of the MCMI have been proven to be helpful in making DSM diagnoses of personality disorders (Psych Central.com, 2018.) Clinical interviews have declined over time and the MCMI is better at diagnosing personality disorders except that of a structured session with a counselor.

Practical Evaluation 

For a person to administer the test, a level C is required. This test is to be used by adults who are over the age of 18 and who have at least a fifth-grade grade reading level so that the reading material is understandable to the client. There are many options on how to take the test. Some of those are with paper and a pencil, computer software, or online. You will need to allow yourself about 30 minutes to take the test.

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 By using a computer to score the test, you can get the norm-based comparisons faster than hand scoring. This is a big advantage because this will allow the counselor to give the client feedback faster. It can help the counselor identify what areas the client needs to work on such as what weakness and strengths they have which can have an effect on the correctly diagnosing an individual.

 The MCMI is an adequate test for an adult who has at least a fifth-grade grade reading level. The writing in the test is simple enough for a person to understand what is being asked. The adult needs to be able to comprehend the test questions. The test is true and false questions and does not take very long to complete. The online test is much easier to follow and gives real- time results when scoring. Items can be scored quickly and reliably using various means such as hand scoring, computer scoring, as well as interpreted accurately, particularly with the use of computer software programs (Drummand, Sheperis, & Jones, 2016).

 Administration of the test is fairly simple, consisting of true and false questions that are based on a fifth-grade reading level. Scoring is quick, whether you are scoring by hand and with computer software. The instructions are easy, so easy that even though the test is for adults 18 and older, an adolescent can understand the questions.

 Allow yourself approximately 25 to 30 minutes to take the test. You will only need paper and pencil if you opt for that type of test, but if you are eager to take the test online or with computer software you will only need a computer and a software program. To interrupt the test, you will need a level C person to decipher the test results. A level C is someone which requires a high level of expertise in test interpretation (Group, 2018.) A doctorate degree in psychology, education, as well as training in administering clinical tests is a must. A counselor that has a license to practice in there state and be a member of the APA that is relevant to the particular assessment.

Summary Evaluation and Critique

The MCMI has several strengths. The main strength is the brevity of the test (MILLION, 1992.) The time that it takes to take is very brief which can be a good thing when you are working with anyone who is struggling with a mental health diagnosis or crisis. The MCMI is compatible with DSM and has been updated through the years as the DSM was updated. One of the final strengths for the MCMI is that it has a theoretical foundation that makes it easier to provide a clear diagnosis.

For the MCMI, there are several weaknesses one must talk about. One of those weaknesses is that it is unclear how many traits are required to represent personality (MILLION, 1992.) Another weakness that the MCMI portrays is that because each person is different and a difference in personalities, there can be an infinite amount of categories (MILLION, 1992.)

 The MCMI is recommended for adults 18 years and older. These adults also need to be seeking mental health treatment or already involved in some type of mental health treatment. The MCMI was last updated in 2015 that corresponds with the DSM-5. There is always room for improvement and there will always be studies to improve tests so that the tests and diagnosis can be more accurate. As people change, diagnoses can change, as well as what kind of treatment would be most beneficial. Future studies might also explore the efficacy exchange between the variability-produced errors in local standardization of scale score distributions as opposed to the partiality intrinsic in local use of generally normed scales (Anon, 2018.)


  • Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.ijser.org/researchpaper/Critical-Analysis-of-the-Millon-Clinical-Multiaxial-Inventory.pdf [Accessed 6 Dec. 2018].
  • Craig, R. J. (Ed.). (2005). New directions in interpreting the millon clinical multiaxial inventory- iii (mcmi-iii). Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu
  • Drummand, R., Sheperis, C., & Jones, K. (2016). Assessment procedures for counselors and helping professionals (8th). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Group, T. (2018). The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV (MCMI-IV) (2015). [online] Millonpersonality.com. Available at: https://www.millonpersonality.com/inventories/MCMI-IV/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2018].
  • Grossman, S., & Amendolace, B. (2017). Essentials of mcmi-iv assessment. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu
  • Millon, T. and Bloom, C. (2008). The Millon inventories. New York: Guilford Press.
  • MILLON, T. (1992). Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory: I & II. Journal of Counseling & Development, 70(3), pp.421-426.
  • Pearsonclinical.com. (2018). Millon® Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III. [online] Available at: https://www.pearsonclinical.com/psychology/products/100000662/millon-clinical-multiaxial-inventory-iii-mcmi-iii.html [Accessed 4 Dec. 2018].
  • Psych Central. (2018). Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III). [online] Available at: https://psychcentral.com/lib/millon-clinical-multiaxial-inventory-mcmi-iii/ [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].
  • En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millon_Clinical_Multiaxial_Inventory [Accessed 6 Dec. 2018].


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