personality assessment


Adams, B., van de Vijver, F., de Bruin G.B. Identity in South Africa: Examining self-descriptions across ethnic groups

Development of the South African Personality Inventory

Exploring the Personality Structure in the 11 Languages in South Africa

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Nel, J. A., Valchev, V. H., Rothmann, S., Van de Vijver, F. J. R., Meiring, D., & De Bruin, G. P. (in press). Exploring the personality structure in the 11 languages of South Africa. Journal of Personality. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00751.x

Nel, J.A. (2008). Uncovering Personality dimensions in 11 different language groups in South Africa: An Exploratory Study. Unpublished PhD dissertation. North-West University, Potchefstroom.

Valchev, V. H., Van de Vijver, F. J. R., Nel, J. A., Rothmann, S., Meiring, D., & De Bruin, G. P. (2011). Implicit personality conceptions of the Nguni cultural-linguistic groups of South Africa. Cross-Cultural Research, 45, 235-266. doi:10.1177/1069397111402462

Valchev, V. H., Nel, J. A., Van de Vijver, F. J. R., Meiring, D., De Bruin, G. P., & Rothmann, S. (in press). Similarities and differences in implicit personality concepts across ethno-cultural groups in South Africa. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Valchev, V. H., Van de Vijver, F. J. R., Nel, J. A., Rothmann, S., Meiring, D., & De Bruin, G. P. (2012). The use of traits and contextual information in free personality descriptions of ethno-cultural groups in South Africa. Manuscript submitted for publication.


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Cheung, F. M. (2007). Indigenous personality correlates from the CPAI-2 profiles of Chinese psychiatric patients. World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review, 2, 114-117.

Cheung, F. M., Cheung, S. F., Leung, K., Ward, C. & Leong, F. (2003). The English version of the Chinese Personality Inventory. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 34, 433-452.

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Chapter 24: Projective Assessment of Adults and Children in South Africa

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Chapter 29: Using computerised and Internet-based testing in South Africa

AUTHOR: N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: South Africa was an early adopter of computerised tests, with the earliest testing systems being developed in the late 1970’s. Initially computerised testing systems were developed by state-funded organisations, with some funding from the private sector. As a result of political changes in South Africa, financial support for research and development in Psychometrics in statutory organisations decreased. Psychometrics, and specifically computerised testing, was then advanced by various private commercial interests, with increasing involvement from foreign test publishers. With the development of the World Wide Web and the availability of broadband connectivity, delivery of tests and reports across the Internet became a reality.  Publishers were concerned about piracy of content and cheating by respondents who were doing the tests unsupervised.  The International Test Commission drew up guidelines for computer-based and internet-delivered testing, and these were adapted to the existing South African legislative framework and ethical guidelines for psychologist. A legal battle ensued, resulting in the repeated withdrawal and re-adopting of the South African guidelines. The main point of contention was whether or not unsupervised Internet-based testing should be allowed.  This legal battle eventually led to changes in legislation.  This chapter will discuss the regulatory framework as it currently stands.  The risks attached to different types of computerised implentations of tests will be considered, taking into account the rights of the respondent, the psychometric impact of computerisation, and the exposure for the practitioner to charges of possible misconduct. A proposal for best practice in South Africa will be formulated.

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Chapter 27: The use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test in South Africa

This chapter will focus on the Comprehensive Exner System, into which all of the empirically defensible features of other, earlier approaches were merged. Even though the basis of the System has been in place for many years, research has been ongoing, also in South Africa. The Rorschach is an ideal instrument for exploring cross-cultural differences, because, unlike verbal or more structured tests, it involves culture-free stimuli. Various authors have concluded that it is a universally applicable and cross-culturally relevant instrument. In South Africa appropriate guidelines and norms have nevertheless not been developed, although some efforts have been made in this direction. Cultural influences on the administration and on response coding as well as the impact of language have been explored, at least to some extent. Some of the available studies such as those by Aronstam (2004), Moletsane and Eloff (2006), and Taylor and Dick (11997) can be seen as important in this regard. Various ongoing doctoral studies, in which the Rorschach is used as a measuring instrument, are also promising in terms of the future use of this test in the South African context. Rorschach testing constitutes a multifaceted method of data collection, and can be seen as a meaningful adjunct to a well-selected battery of tests where the understanding of an individual is important, be it for clinical, forensic or research purposes. The Rorschach is currently being used in South Africa in all of these settings, and knowledge of the strengths and disadvantages of using this test can be of considerable benefit to a clinician working in any of these areas. Intensive and long-term basic training, as well as ongoing more in depth training is crucial, if this test has to be of real use, adding significant information to that gleaned from other measuring instruments.

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Chapter 26: The Draw-a-Person (DAP) and Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) in South Africa

AUTHORS: Z. Amod, R. Gericke, K. Bain

ABSTRACT: Projective testing through the use of human figure drawings which can be seen as a symbolic representation of the inner reality of an individual, is a valuable tool used in psychological assessment practice.  Gregory (2000) reported that projective drawings are amongst five of fifteen most frequently used tests by psychologists.  However results obtained from projective tests such as the Draw-A-Person Test (DAP) and the Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) need to be used sensitively bearing in mind the unique socio-cultural context of the individual. In this chapter, based on an introductory overview of the DAP and KFD (which would look at administration, issues of reliability and validity, and as well as uses and limitations), the focus would be on the clinical application of these tests using illustrative case examples. Cross-cultural issues and related research will be examined.  While South African research in relation to the drawing tests is limited, some pioneering work has been conducted  (Richter, Griesel and Wortley, 1988; Rudenberg, Jansen and Fridjhon, 1998; Davidow, 1999; Douglas, 2009).   The chapter will be concluded with a brief discussion of other related projective drawing tests such as the House-Tree-Person technique, the Chromatic HTP Test and the Kinetic School Drawing.

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Chapter 25: The use of the Children’s Apperception Test and Thematic Apperception Test in South Africa

AUTHORS: R. Gericke, Z. Amod, K. Bain

ABSTRACT: This chapter will explore the practice, clinical use and cross-cultural application of two thematic projective techniques, the Childrens’ Apperception Test (CAT) and Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). Thematic apperception tests are recognised as valuable tools to unobtrusively access object relations (Kelly, 2007), unconscious conflicts, anxieties, wishes, feelings and needs that may otherwise be defended against. Through projection access to the internal world is gained through a means that is less threatening than being subjected to interviews or self-report questionnaires. A brief introduction to and definition of thematic story telling techniques will be followed by discussions on reliability and validity, test administration and clinical application, and clinical tips. The CAT and TAT are consistently selected as favoured tests across professional registrations, the TAT being the test most favoured by clinical psychologists in SA (Foxcroft, Paterson, le Roux & Herbst, 2004). Given this, the cross-cultural implications of using these tests need to be addressed (De Vos, 2004; Hofer & Chasiotis, 2004; Mclerney & Liem, 2009). Whilst textbooks and scoring manuals are available, this chapter has a strong focus on clinical application within a South African context and provides guidelines for clinicians working within the field. Further to this, a strong focus on illustrative case material will allow the utility as well as the limitations to be discussed in greater depth. Other thematic apperception tests available will be introduced (The Columbus Test, The SA Picture Analysis Test, The Make a Story Test, Michigan Picture Test, Sexual Apperception Test and The Children’s Self-Report and Project Inventory). Finally, suggestions for future research including validating the use of the CAT and TAT in diagnosing attachment patterns will be discussed.

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Chapter 16: The BTI in South Africa

AUTHORS: N. Taylor, G. P. de Bruin

ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the Basic Traits Inventory, a South African developed measure of the Big Five personality traits. The basic premises of the Big Five personality theory are given, along with descriptions of the five personality factors. The development of the BTI is described, where issues surrounding developing tests in the cross-cultural South African context are discussed. Further, research done using the BTI in South Africa is presented. The reliability and validity of the BTI is examined and the subject of cross-cultural bias and fairness is addressed. Lastly, examples of the application of the BTI in various fields, such as education and the workplace, are provided and the future of the BTI is discussed.

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Chapter 21: The Millon Inventories in South Africa

AUTHORS: R. Patel, S. Laher

ABSTRACT: The Millon family of instruments consists of the MCMI-III, MIPS, MAHI,MBHI. This chapter will provide a brief history into their development touching on Millon’s theory of abnormal and normal personality development. Following this a brief description of each instrument will be provided. Since the MCMI-III is the most commonly used instrument both internationally and locally, this will receive more coverage in the chapter. Research on the MCMI-III in SA will be presented. Finally the MIPS was studied in the SA context and SA norms were developed for the instrument. These will also be included in the chapter.

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Chapter 18: The NEO-PI-R in South Africa

AUTHOR: S. Laher

ABSTRACT: The NEO-PI-R is a widely used test both in assessment and research locally and internationally. Aside from being used in research and practice to assess personality, it is also amongst the most commonly used instruments to operationalise the FFM of personality. Thus this chapter intends providing a brief history of the development of the NEO-PI-R, followed by a brief description of the NEO-PI-R domain and facet scales. Following this research using the NEO-PI-R in the South African context will be presented. Finally the chapter will conclude with some discussion on the use of the NEO-PI-R in the SA context.

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