Sunday, April 07, 2013

Ego Strength, Psychosis Proneness, and Creativity

Yu Ling Han, a psychology intern, administered a battery of psychological tests to me in May 1994 at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry (GW).

About a week or so after the testing, I met with Dr. Han in her office at GW to review the test results. During the course of the meeting, Dr. Han had a peculiar response to a question I posed.

I asked her what my ego strength score was on the MMPI (the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory). She said, "the MMPI doesn't have an ego strength scale." I was sure the MMPI did have an ego strength scale. Dr. Han admitted in her test report that I had done research on the testing. I persisted. I said, "Yes. The MMPI includes an ego strength scale." Dr. Han looked through her papers and said, "Yes. I see it. There is an ego strength scale." I said, "How did I score?" She said my score was normal. Dr. Han did not mention my MMPI ego strength score in her written report of the test results. I found Dr. Han's actions and statements in connection with the MMPI ego strength scale to be peculiar.

Given the level of my creative potential, my suspicion is that I scored very high on ego strength and on psychosis proneness.  I speculate that the psychologists at GW were absolutely baffled by this seeming contradiction and that is why the test report omits any mention of my ego strength score.  Indeed, it explains the test evaluator's dissembling in her office about the fact that the MMPI even includes an ego strength scale.  But that's just my hunch.

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