Test Description

The California Psychology inventory was published in 1956 and is a self test it was developed to assess the response of people to the behavior of the people around them. This means it evaluates interpersonal behavior and social interaction among normal and ordinary individuals.

Type of Test

The test is usually a self-inventory test and does not look at the clinical aspect of one’s life and is more into an individual’s personality. The California Psychology test is a test that combines a male only, female only, male and female combination and is also popular with adolescents.


The California Psychology inventory comprises of 434 self-report false questions and takes roughly ½ hours to complete. The questions are normally worded in the Fork concept fashion (1950’s concept). The California psychology Inventory is scored over 18 scales and looks at different types of a patient’s lifestyle and their personality.

How it is Used

Once the test is completed and scores tallied, an individual’s final result will then be placed on a grid which determines their personality type. The grid consists of two axes: the degree to which the individual is internally or externally focused (the V.1 scale) and the degree to which they consider or question the norm (the V.2 scale). This result in four distinct categories of individuals: Alphas, Beta, Gamma and Delta each with distinct characteristics that distinguish them. The Alphas are ambitious, assertive, and enterprising and outgoing while the Betas are steady, cautious, moderate and conventional. The Gammas are adventurous, clever, strong and progressive. The Deltas are reflective, preoccupied, quiet, reserved and detached. Additional measure called realization (the V.3 scale) is a used it measures one’s degree of the potential in their personality and provides scores when the subject is reflective, capable and optimistic. In totality, these scales come together to provide of how a person reasons and explains their actions too in the public.
Reliability and validity

The California Psychology Inventory scales and those that are related that also measure personality types have coefficients of correlations at ranges of .2 and .5. These degrees of correlations are normally present in most personality type researches. What makes it even more popular is that it has a non-psychiatry and non-clinical nature that gives it a huge reputation among psychologists and medics. It also proves to be a valued tool in locations such as drug and alcohol reintegration centers as the results can show the problems in the patient’s lifestyle and behavior from the information gathered on their social norms. Studies that have been carried out have shown that the CPI is more reliable compared with other tests as its degree of accuracy when dealing with alcoholic patients detects their scale of sociopathic tendencies that are common among alcoholics (Laufer et al., 1982). Such an accurate analysis is needed to channel a treatment plan for the patient suffering from the sociopathic tendency which is a mental condition.

CPI is also an important tool for the rehabilitation centers in that it serves as a dual diagnostic tool as it provides a treatment plans based on individual personality and also identifies the patients who require further clinical diagnosis. It is also possible to link people’s behaviors with the personalities of individuals. This proves important especially in therapy sessions where the patients have their lives assessed.


The test is also aimed primarily for business leaders to use in finding and developing successful employees, identification and creation of efficient organizations. The CPI can be administered to all individuals. Drug addicts, alcoholics especially in rehabilitation centers. It may be administered to adolescents to understand their behavioral tendencies. It is also administered to adults who are willing to undergo the self test. More often, it is applied in academic institutions for academic counseling and identifying those with leadership qualities (Laufer et al., 1982).

Psychologists and medics also use it for checking susceptibility to illnesses, marital discord, delinquency in juveniles and also checking criminality and social immaturity among members of the society…”


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