What is California Psychological Inventory (CPI) in Psychology?

California Psychological Inventory (CPI)

California Psychological Inventory (CPI) was designed for use with normal adolescents and adults. It is compared with MMPI. It contains 20 CPI scales, such as dominance, responsibility, and sociability. This personality test developed by Gough and Bradley in 1996.

California psychological inventory included a large number of MMPI items, which are not intended for psychiatric use. This test is used to predict academic achievement, understand leadership potential to get information on personal social characteristics, and study individuals in various occupations. For example, I would never play a card game with a stranger. The CPI is widely used and has been translated into 29 languages.

CPI is a type of self-inventory personality test. Inventory tests have both their advantages and limitations. There are several advantages to using an inventory test.

  • Firstly, the results are reliable as it yields relatively consistent and repeatable results.
  • Secondly, the test is valid, as the test actually measures what its developers intended it to measure.
  • Thirdly, inventories are standardized, which means that the test is administered the same way every time it is used. The instruction, time, limit, and scoring procedure remain identical from one use to the next.
  • Fourthly, inventories are simple which addresses the easy administration, easy responses, and comparatively simple interpretation of the inventory.
  • Fifth, the merit of inventories is economy in terms of using a large sample of similar people on the same sitting, saving efforts, money, and time.

There are also several disadvantages of inventories. The person who is taking the test must know the language, and functional literacy is the basic requirement. The inventory does not provide space for the test taker to deliver his internal self if he desires to convey more things about himself. Inventories also do not provide much freedom of choice. The time required to administer and score each test is very lengthy. In self-report inventories, the individual responses are usually not honest. The test taker picks the answers which are socially desirable and even though several precautions are taken, critics point out that these tests give no guarantee that examinees will not lie to themselves. In their view, the deeper layer can not be accessed by means of the direct questioning of MMPI and CPI.

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