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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 28 / 135

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Individuals who take the MMPI-2 in a non-clinical setting, such as for personnel

screening, may have elevations on the L scale, but this does not necessarily indicate that

the person is inaccurately portraying psychological symptoms or problems (Graham,

2006). The K scale was developed to be a more subtle approach to defensiveness than

the L scale (Graham, 2006). It allows the interpreter to assess “…the tendency to control

and limit the disclosure of distress, discomfort, and problems relating to others” (Nichols,

2001, p.5). Both the L and K scales have historically been valuable in helping to

determine whether a subject is underreporting symptoms (Butcher, 2006). The F scale

was originally designed to identify deviant or atypical response patterns. It is

recommended that the F scale be used to assess test-taking approaches and not as an

indicator of personality or psychopathology (Graham, 2006).

The MMPI and Personality of Counselors

Shortly after its creation, a number of studies investigated the relationship

between the MMPI scales and the personality of counselors. For example, Cottle and

Lewis (1954) were interested in constructing a scale that would differentiate counselors

from other workers in education and psychology. They noted from the literature that no

previous instrument had been attempted. Using the MMPI and the Guilford-

Zimmerman Temperament Survey (GZTS; Guilford & Zimmerman, 1949), the scores of

65 male counselors in college counseling centers and 65 male college students were

compared. Although the students scored close to the published norms, for the counselors

it was found that after K correction was added, there were statistically different means on

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