24 Self-Report Inventories

Assessing Personality and Psychopathology

Assessment Psychology


  1. Yossef S. Ben-Porath PhD

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop210024

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Ben-Porath, Y. S. 2012. Self-Report Inventories. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 10:III:24.

Author Information

  1. Kent State University, Department of Psychology, Kent, Ohio, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


This chapter describes the history and development of self-report inventories (SRIs) as measures of personality and psychopathology. Early criticisms of this technique are reviewed, with an emphasis on concerns regarding their susceptibility to distortion and limited empirical foundations for their interpretation. Current issues in SRI-based assessment are then reviewed and discussed, including various approaches to constructing SRIs and their relative merits; approaches to and foundations for SRI interpretation, including the merits of empirical and content-based interpretation; and derivation of standard scores for SRI interpretation. Next, the concept of protocol validity is defined, and threats to protocol validity, including content and non-content-based threats are identified and discussed. These threats include nonresponding, random responding, fixed responding, overreporting, and underreporting. The chapter also identifies a need for further SRI research studies to allow for a greater role for construct validity in SRI interpretation and discusses initial steps in this direction.


  • personality;
  • psychopathology;
  • self-report