This investigation surveyed students (n = 91) from 16 American Psychological Association accredited doctoral programs in clinical and counseling psychology about knowledge and training in personality assessment. We report self-perceived competency on specific instruments as well as training trends in coursework and instrument exposure in clinical settings. We also evaluate skill at interpretation on a popular personality instrument using two tasks, a narrative interpretation where trainees estimate an originating score profile using a standardized interpretive report and a symptom probability task where trainees predict the likelihood of symptoms based on a score profile. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) were the most frequently trained and utilized and had the highest self-perceived competence. When given interpretation tasks to evaluate assessment skills using the MMPI-2-RF, trainee performance was variable and discrepant from a comparison expert panel given the same tasks. Overall, our results suggest that there is a need for further, and more comprehensive, study on competence and training according to the experience of trainees. We note that there is variability across instruction on instrument use, exposure to instruments in practice, and practical skill level. We highlight our findings across four conceptual areas and discuss the implications for the observed trends: frequency of instrument exposure, trainee beliefs of competence, trainee interpretation skills, and reporting of testing interpretation.
- Psychological assessment