The University of Minnesota Press Test Division is pleased to announce the new web series "Interview with a Forensic Expert." Our first interview is with Dr. Kyle Boone.
Kyle Brauer Boone, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor within the California School of Forensic Studies, Alliant International University, and a Clinical Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles in the area of neuropsychological assessment, primarily regarding the development and validation of neurocognitive performance validity tests. She was a member of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) committee that drafted practice standards for the field of clinical neuropsychology (published in 2007), and she was also on the AACN committee that published practice guidelines for assessment of malingering (published in 2009). She was director of the neuropsychological testing service at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from 1986 to 2008, and in that capacity supervised the testing of thousands of patients while at the same time training dozens of students in neuropsychological assessment.
What led you to focus on forensic neuropsychology in your research and practice?
When I first trained in neuropsychology over three decades ago, there was virtually no discussion as to how to identify test takers who were not performing to true ability. It became apparent to me that research in this area, including development of effective techniques to detect noncredible test performance, was of high priority. If we as neuropsychologists cannot verify that test data are accurate, it can be argued that our exams are essentially worthless.
What do you find most satisfying about your work?
I am very proud of my field when I am in the legal arena because our discipline provides and relies on sound psychometric data to make determinations as to credibility of symptom presentation and psychiatric diagnoses.
Would you recommend use of the MMPI-2-RF in this setting?
The MMPI-2-RF is imperative in my forensic neuropsychological evaluations; I tell my students that if I was not able to use the MMPI-2-RF it would be like being deprived of my right arm.
What advantages do you believe it offers over other tests?
The MMPI-2-RF provides unique information not available from any other test, namely, whether a test taker is reporting psychiatric, cognitive, and physical symptoms in a credible manner. I like to use the analogy that if a test taker obtains high elevations on MMPI-2-RF over-report validity scales, it is like a “buzzer going off,” signaling that the person’s self-report of symptoms is not likely valid or reliable. There is no other instrument that provides the range of over-report data available in the MMPI-2-RF.
What advice would you give to psychologists who are challenged in court regarding their use of the MMPI-2-RF?
Given that: 1) there are nearly 300 peer-reviewed publications on the MMPI-2-RF, 2) research shows that it is a psychometrically superior instrument to the MMPI-2, and 3) it has additional validity scales and well-validated substantive scales as compared to the MMPI-2, I take the position that it is actually opposing experts who need to justify why they continue to use the MMPI-2.