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Comparative validity of the MMPI-2 Wiener-Harmon subtle-obvious scales in male prison inmates

Comparative validity of the MMPI-2 Wiener-Harmon subtle-obvious scales in male prison inmates

Journal of Personality Assessment 72(1): 36-48

The Wiener-Harmon subtle-obvious MMPI subscales (Wiener, 1948; Wiener & Harmon, 1946) have been the subject of considerable debate. In this study, we examined the intercorrelations among full clinical scale T scores and their subtle and obvious subscales in an offender population. Low subtle to full-scale correlations were observed, suggesting that these items contribute little to full-scale scores. Further, we explored the criterion validity of the MMPI-2 subtle-obvious scales in this forensic sample. The results demonstrated that the obvious scales of the MMPI-2 had greater criterion validity than the subtle scales when compared to crime history data. Scores on the subtle subscales were unrelated to crime history. The Ma-O subscale demonstrated the strongest association to crime history data. The findings from this study add to a mounting body of evidence indicating that when respondents are in a position to understand item content, and can therefore provide a direct self-appraisal, responses are most predictive of clinical criteria.

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Accession: 045586784

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10205869

DOI: 10.1207/s15327752jpa7201_2

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