Personality scale, psychological tests and BPD
Rorschach, MMPI, Das, MCMI, SAS, PDQ, IPDE, SIDP...,
There are a lot of tests available to test personnaliy, no one are perfects. Some indicates tendancies and some seems to be totally obsolete. Semi structured interviews seems to be the best choice
Meme page en Francais / Same page in french
Some existing tests
Data, studies
What they say ?
Aapel view
Some existing tests

Data, studies (statistics, prevalence, comorbidity, co-occurency)

* Wood JM, Lilienfeld SO, Garb HN, Nezworski MT. - Dept. of Psychology, University of Texas El Paso, USA
2000  J Clin Psychol. - The Rorschach test in clinical diagnosis: a critical review
"Despite a few positive findings, the Rorschach has demonstrated little validity as a diagnostic tool"

* Blais MA, Hilsenroth MJ, Castlebury F, - Inpatient Psychiatry Service, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
2001 J Pers Assess.- Predicting DMS-IV cluster B personality disorder criteria from MMPI-2 and Rorschach data: a test of incremental validity.
"Despite their frequent conjoint clinical use, the incremental validity of Rorschach (Rorschach, 1921/1942) and MMPI (Hathaway & McKinley, 1943) data has not been adequately established, nor has any study to date explored the incremental validity of these tests for predicting DSM IV Diagnostic
In a reanalysis of existing data, we used select Rorschach variables and the MMPI PD scales to predict DSM-IV antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic PD criteria in a sample of treatment-seeking outpatients. The correlational findings revealed alimited relation between Rorschach and MMPI-2 (Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) variables, with only 5 of 30 correlations reaching significance
The correlational findings revealed a limited relation between Rorschach and MMPI-2 (Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989)"

* Zalewski C, Archer RP. - Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk.
1991 J Nerv Ment Dis. - "Assessment of borderline personality disorder. A review of MMPI and Rorschach findings."
This review examines the literature on assessing borderline personality disorder (BPD) using the MMPI and the Rorschach test. Despite the extensive use of these instruments in the assessment of BPD, the degree to which they are successful in identifying the disorder remains unclear...
Furthermore, no supportive evidence was found for the commonly held hypothesis that BPD subjects show more impairment on unstructured measures than on objective measures

Psychological tests, what they say
Aapel view of tests and Borderline Personality Disorder
Here is our feeling.

For what ?
We are thinking that the tests are a "plus", not the essential, to help to determine the personality of a person and especially a personality disorder

On the face on it, "Bad" tests
We think that the more "sensitive" tests are automatic tests with answers "yes / no". "Yes or no" is not a valid answer for a lot of questions in life.
But it is false to suppose that it is the test which is "dangerous", it is not itself but the importance that we give to it

"Worst" test
But for us (everyone is free to don't agree), the worst, even if it is possible to find studies saying that "it works" is the "Rorschach projective test". We consider that it is unacceptable to say that a person has paranoïd tendancies or whatever, only because he see or don't see "things" in a inkblot. It is a way to condamn a person only because of their imagination or lack of imagination
We think that it is a total lack of respect of the human being to use this test as a diagnosis tool. This test is totaly unreproductive and too subject to interpretation.
If you want to read more about peoples who "hate" this "test", you can go to this address http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rorschach.htm (we are not responsible about the content of this site)

"Better" tests
To be more serious now. Semi-structured interview (like IPDE) seems to be much better and objective to test a personality. That mean that the therapist adjust some questions and reach to a non-automatized answer.
In all cases we always have to be suspicious about the result of a test, depending of the person's mood, if he or she is anxious, if he or she is lying whatever the reason why,...

"Half an hour, and we know you !"
Whatever the tests used, we don't believe that it is possible to "know" a person just after a session !
We can have some clues, but it is necessary to see him / her several times to make our firm conviction, especially to detect a borderline disorder with an high functioning people.
In all cases it will be a "believe", never THE "Truth" but the "therapist truth"

"The best test for BPD" ?
If some are saying that we can detect homosexuality in a ink blot, we think to have the right to speak about  our test without a guilty conscience.

AAPEL - Back to BPD summary page

All the information in this site is aimed at helping people understand a "rather particular" and puzzling kind of disease
But more especially, to support everyone affected by it, sick or not.  In any case, it is ESSENTIAL to see a therapist who specialises in this field they can confirm or give an alternative diagnosis
The name of what you’ve got doesn’t matter so much, getting the right treatment for the right patient does

last update  2008
Copyright AAPELTM federation - All rights reserved
Author, Alain Tortosa, psychotherapist, founder president of the Aapel
Non profit organization