Coordinating Author Information: William Rice, BA | Western Carolina University

Session Abstract: An update to the MMPI-2-RF (Tellegen & Ben-Porath, 2008/2011), the MMPI-3 (Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2020), was released with a new, nationally representative normative sample as well as new scales that provide increased coverage of clinically significant psychological constructs. One new scale, Self-Importance (SFI), measures the test taker’s beliefs that they possess special attributes and talents. Low SFI scores indicate that the test taker lacks such beliefs. A study by Whitman and Ben-Porath (2021) used college student samples to show that SFI is distinct from the other self-oriented MMPI-3 scale, Self-Doubt (SFD). The present study sought to expand on their findings by investigating whether individuals who produce both elevated SFD and interpretable low SFI scores score meaningfully different from individuals who produce just elevated SFD on other MMPI-3 scales

MMPI-3 data were collected from three clinical settings in the Midwestern United States, including an urban community mental health center (n = 854), a private practice mental health clinic (n = 308), and a private practice neuropsychology clinic (n = 254). We also analyzed data from the new MMPI-3 English-language normative sample (n = 1,620). To investigate whether interpretable low SFI scores (< 39T) add clinically meaningful information beyond SFD elevations (≥ 65T), we created two mutually exclusive groups in each of the four samples. Both groups were comprised of only individuals who produced elevations on SFD, and one group also produced interpretable low SFI scores. We conducted group mean comparisons using independent samples t-tests, and interpreted findings that were statistically significant (α = .05) and clinically meaningful (mean difference ≥ 5T; Graham et al., 1999). Overall, results indicated that individuals who produced both low SFI and elevated SFD scores reported greater depressive psychopathology (EID, INTR, RC2, and HLP) and problems related to social engagement (SAV, DSF, and lower DOM and AGGR), as well as slightly less thought dysfunction (lower THD, PSYC, RC8) relative to the group that produced only SFD elevations. A specific pattern of meaningful group differences replicated notably well across all four samples, especially within the internalizing domain. Implications and limitations of the present study will be discussed.


Megan Whitman, MA | Kent State University

William Rice, BA | Western Carolina University

William Menton, PhD | Kent State University

Yossef Ben-Porath | Kent State University

David McCord | Western Carolina University

Leave a Reply