Clinical psychological test interpretations by computer: Hardware outpaces software

Joseph D. Matarazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The development of computers and related hardware for computer-assisted, psychological test interpretation represents an important advance in the field of psychological assessment. Unfortunately, development and validation of associated software is not as advanced as is the hardware. Yet software is the heart of packages being sold in unprecedented numbers to undertrained and unsuspecting purchasers of these systems. The author includes criticism of a representative narrative published for one MMPI codetype to buttress the opinion that valid sounding, computer-generated reports have the potential to lull the untrained service provider into believing that these narratives can be used in isolation without further reference to the clinical history of the individual. Furthermore, it is believed that when today's computer software is exposed to the scrutiny of our courts, it will fare relatively poorly against today's experienced and credentialed (albeit unvalidated) clinician. This assertion reflects the author's belief that the appropriately credentialed clinician is still better able than computer software to interrelate test findings with each client's unique, observable characteristics and history. Nevertheless, in the not too distant future it is very possible that further research will help give software and advantage over the clinician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-253
Number of pages19
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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