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Running Head: CLINICIANS’ JUDGMENTS OF CLINICAL UTILITY - page 13 / 41

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leading experts from five different paradigms of personality assessment (i.e., psychodynamic, multivariate, interpersonal, personological, and empirical) to assess and describe the same person. The person they assessed was “Madeline G” who provided an intriguing case study with surprising depth and color of character. Madeline, as described in Wiggins’ text, is a Native American woman who experienced a chaotic childhood, including severe physical abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father, as well as her own alcohol abuse and criminal activities. However, during her stay in prison Madeline focused on improving her life and she went on to attend an Ivy League institution where she earned degrees in law and social work. She subsequently established a very successful legal practice and appeared to have unlimited future potential. However, she later was served several setbacks when she lost her job with a high-profile law firm and was left by her common-law husband. A recent review of Wiggins’ text suggests, “Madeline G may go down in history as one of the best case studies ever published” (Strack, 2005, p. 106). The description of Madeline was drawn from the life history interview and peer descriptions provided by Drs. McAdams, Trobst, and Wiggins.

Instruments

Five Factor Model Rating Form (FFMRF). The FFMRF is a one-page measure of the 30 facets of the FFM. The individual is described on each facet using a 1-5 Likert scale where 1 = extremely low, 2 = low, 3 = neutral, 4 = high, and 5 = extremely high. Each of the 30 facets is labeled with a trait term (e.g., the first facet of neuroticism is labeled “anxiousness”). In addition to this label, both the high and low pole of each facet contains 2-3 trait descriptors to assist the user in making the ratings. For example, the facet of “gregariousness” is described by the words “sociable” and “outgoing” at the high pole as well as “withdrawn” and “isolated” at the low pole.

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