Updated June 3, 2011
James N. Butcher, PhD
After earning my doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina in 1964, I was hired by the Psychology Department of the University of Minnesota and spent 39 years in full-time employment. I met the requirements for licensure to practice psychology in Minnesota shortly after my arrival, and have maintained my license to practice psychology ever since. In 2003 I became professor emeritus. During my career at Minnesota my academic research and other scholarship resulted in intellectual property (e.g., books, course materials, articles, computer software, psychological tests, handouts for professional meetings) that under University policy is owned by me, and like other faculty, I am free to enter into agreements with publishers and receive royalties for these regular academic work products.
I receive no royalties from the vast majority of my approximately 300 professional publications. In the last three years I received royalties from the sales of 12 of my 57 books (21%). The publishers of these books include Pearson Allyn Bacon for the 14th edition of an abnormal psychology textbook, Oxford University Press for books on personality assessment and treatment planning using the MMPI-2, Wiley for a book on research methods in clinical psychology, the American Psychological Association for books on the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A, and the University of Minnesota Press for books on the MMPI, MMPI-2 and MMPI-A. With the exception of my abnormal psychology textbook, the royalties I receive for each of my books are less than the $10,000 benchmark defined by University of Minnesota policy as a significant financial interest.
In 1965 I established the annual Symposium on Recent Developments in the Use of the MMPI. The annual Symposium was funded using fees from registrants of a series of continuing education workshops I designed and conducted around the country and internationally for clinical practitioners on the use of the MMPI, and later the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A. For the most part, I was reimbursed for travel expenses and did not accept fees for my services as a workshop presenter, instead allowing those fees to fund the annual Symposium and my MMPI research program. In addition, I donated royalties from two of my earliest books to fund this series at its start-up. That allowed the Symposium to provide some travel expenses for active MMPI researchers to participate in the symposium. Revenue generated by the workshops provided significant support for the normative and clinical validity studies I conducted during the MMPI-2 Restandardization Project. In 2003, I handed over leadership of this symposium and workshop series to others. Also in 2003, in what turned out to be my last presentation at these meetings, I included descriptions of problems with the newly developed Restructured Clinical Scales. The new coordinators of the symposium and workshop series told me not to include these concerns in future workshops. I chose not to participate further in these meetings I founded.
Members of the MMPI Restandardization Committee (including myself) verbally agreed not to accept any royalties on the new versions of the MMPI resulting from the Committee's work during the Restandardizaton Project, with the presumption that such income would be used to support further R&D on the instrument. The University Press did not put this verbal agreement into writing at the time it was made or when the Press published the MMPI-2 in 1989 or the MMPI-A in 1992. It has been my understanding that this verbal agreement means that MMPI-2 and MMPI-A authors do not receive any royalties from the sales of the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A test booklets and manuals, manual supplements, scoring materials, profile sheets, and the like (e.g., in my case, for scales I co-created like the MMPI-2 Content Scales; the MMPI-A Content Scales; and the four alcohol and drug problem scales, the MMPI-2 APS and AAS, the MMPI-A ACK and PRO). I am also the co-creator of nine translations of the MMPI or MMPI-2, and do not receive any royalties for those works.
I have never received salary support from the test publisher or distributor for my research on the MMPI instruments, although I did receive a stipend (less than the University's benchmark of $10,000) until around 2002 for answering questions and giving advise, when asked, by the Test Division manager. (At some point, the manager began referring to me as a Test Division "advisor" or "advisory board member," although there never were any documents or discussions about terms of service, expectations, roles and responsibilities one would expect for a formal advisory board.) I do, as described above, receive royalties from books about the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A published by the University of Minnesota Press, American Psychological Association, and Oxford University Press, none of which currently reaches the University's benchmark for significant financial interest.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s I became interested in computerized personality assessment and reviewed six of the existing MMPI interpretive systems for the Buros Eighth Mental Measurement Yearbook, published in 1978. I was intrigued with the possibility of developing a report, based on scale and code-type correlates from the literature, as well as my clinical experience in using the MMPI, that would be an improvement over what was available. I began developing a computerized interpretive system for the MMPI, in consultation with David Weiss and David Vale, which eventually led to the development of the Minnesota Reports.
I signed a contract in 1982 transferring ownership of the Minnesota Report to the Regents of the University of Minnesota and its University Press, in exchange for 30% of the royalties the University receives from NCS or its successor (i.e., Pearson Assessments). My primary source of royalty income comes from the following University of Minnesota properties currently distributed by Pearson Assessments:
The Minnesota Report: Adult Clinical System Revised
The Minnesota Report: Revised Personnel Selection System Reports:
Personnel Adjustment Rating Reports
The Minnesota Report: Reports for Forensic Settings
The Minnesota Report: Adolescent Interpretive System (Co-authored with Carolyn Williams, my share is 15% of the royalties the University receives from Pearson Assessments)
I agreed to monitor, improve, and update the interpretive system as needed, and the University agreed to provide clerical and research assistant support for these tasks. My royalty payments come directly from the University of Minnesota Press. I have not received any royalties or other payments from Pearson Assessments, although in the earlier 1980s I consulted briefly with its predecessor, NCS, on their role in establishing and monitoring the Minnesota Report. My royalty payments on the above publications substantially exceed the University's benchmark of $10,000 for a significant financial interest. In 1998 I assigned 5% of my author royalties for the Adult Clinical System to Carolyn Williams who consulted on changes to that system.
The Minnesota Reports, developed first for the MMPI, are a robust interpretive system. We have a demonstrated history of incorporating any new developments in MMPI research into the Minnesota Reports. Over the last 30 years, when new versions of the instruments (e.g., MMPI-2 and MMPI-A), new scales (e.g., the PSY-5 Scales), new indicators (e.g., a set of MMPI-A Critical Items), new information about specialized uses (e.g., personnel screening, forensic use) and the like have been introduced, received empirical verification, and demonstrated widespread adoption in clinical settings, we have been able to incorporate each and every one of those improvements into the Minnesota Report. However, inclusion of new scales or content into the Minnesota Reports always reflects my professional opinion about the clinical utility of the various changes to the MMPI instruments (and my co-author's) that can also be found in my peer-reviewed articles, books, and talks at professional meetings.
In 2005 I wrote a new test with an accompanying interpretive system-the Butcher Treatment Planning Inventory (BTPI) - for which I am entitled to receive royalties from its publisher, Multi-Health Systems.
In addition to my scholarly activities and publications, I have a part-time consulting practice related to my academic interests. The income stream from my consulting is variable, but considered in total, over most years, it qualifies by the University's definition as a significant financial interest. This work includes personality assessment for business. It has also included consultations with several major airlines in crisis intervention, disaster management, and stress management programs, as well as pilot screening using the MMPI-2. In addition, I have consulted with federal agencies regarding personnel screening in sensitive positions using the MMPI-2, including security clearances. Most of this work is quality control, evaluating whether psychological testing has been used and interpreted appropriately.
I have been retained as an expert witness on the interpretation of the MMPI, MMPI-2, and MMPI-A in civil and criminal cases including work compensation, personal injury (both plaintiff and defense), medical and legal malpractice suits, domestic court-child custody, and capital criminal offenses. From 1996 to 2011 I have been retained on 10 cases (3 pro bono, 1 current) regarding the lack of psychometric support for the use of the Fake Bad Scale (aka Symptom Validity Scale) for identifying malingering.
To the best of my knowledge, I own no stocks or bonds in companies publishing psychological tests. I have instructed my financial planners, in those cases where I am able to influence purchase decisions, not to purchase interests in such companies.
Carolyn L. Williams, PhD
I joined the faculty in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota in January 1981, following a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Universit's Institute for Research on Learning Disabilities and after earning my doctorate in clinical psychology in 1979 from the University of Georgia. I qualified for my Minnesota license to practice psychology in 1981, and have maintained it ever since. Around 1993, at my request, I converted my full-time 12-month appointment to a nine-month appointment, and over the years reduced my appointment to part-time, while retaining my tenure status. I became an Emeritus Professor in the Division of Epidemiology of the School of Public Health at the University in 2001.
After my retirement from the University in 2001 I continued working on a part-time faculty appointment until the end of 2006. Over the years I've also worked part-time as a consultant to James Butcher's consulting practice, as well as consulted with a telecommunications company doing personality assessments for an internal research project, a major airline providing crisis intervention and stress management services, and the World Health Organization on refugee mental health. My income from James Butcher's consulting business has been quite variable over the years, but exceeded the $10,000 benchmark defined by University policy as a significant financial interest in recent years. From 1990 to 2007, my faculty position and/or research activities (including research using the MMPI-A) were supported in large part by multiple grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. From 1985 to 1989 I was supported partially on grants from the National Institute of Mental Health for work on refugee mental health (which included cross-cultural work on the MMPI).
During my career at Minnesota my academic research and other scholarship resulted in intellectual property (e.g., books, course materials, articles, computer software, handouts for professional meetings, secondary school curricula) that under University policy is owned by me, its creator and/or co-creator. Like other University of Minnesota faculty, I am free to enter into agreements with publishers and receive royalties for these regular academic work products. Of the over 100 professional publications I have written, only a very small percentage produced any royalty income. Of the 9 books I have written or edited, I received royalties from one on the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A in the last three years, and the annual amount was less than what University policy defines as a significant financial interest. I am the co-author of a prevention program for underage drinking and other drug use, published by Hazelden Publishing and Educational Services beginning in 1998, and in the most recent three years I received annual royalties from those works that varies around the University's benchmark for significant financial interest.
During the MMPI Restandardization Project I was among the co-authors of the MMPI-2 Content Scales, resulting in the publication of a book in 1990 for which I received royalties from the University of Minnesota Press. I was much more active in the development of the MMPI-A, writing items for the experimental booklet, seeking and receiving both external (i.e., a grant of $46,300 from the Rivendell Foundation from 1987-1988) and internal funding (i.e., $3,640 from a Biomedical Research Support Grant from the National Institutes of Health from 1985-1986 and multiple grants from the University's Academic Computing Services) to support my work in collecting a large clinical sample used for scale development and validation.
I never received any salary support or fees for services from the University Press or NCS, the predecessor to Pearson Assessments, for my work collecting almost 60% of the sample used to develop the MMPI-A norms; collecting 100% of the clinical sample used in the MMPI-A manual; co-developing the MMPI-2 or MMPI-A Content Scales; codeveloping the MMPI-A Alcohol and Drug Problem Scales ACK and PRO; codeveloping the MMPI-A Content Component Scales; or co-developing the MMPI-A PSY-5 Scales.
Although I did not participate in the discussions or decisions made by the members of the MMPI Restandardization Committee to forgo any royalties on the new versions of the MMPI resulting from their work during the Restandardizaton Project, I chose to abide by their verbal agreement, assuming that this revenue would fund future R&D on the instruments. The University Press did not put this verbal agreement into writing at the time it was made or when the Press published the MMPI-2 in 1989 or the MMPI-A in 1992. It has been my understanding that this verbal agreement means that MMPI-2 and MMPI-A authors do not receive any royalties from the sales of MMPI-2 or MMPI-A manuals, manual supplements, scales, scoring materials, and the like (e.g., in my case these include the following I co-created, the MMPI-2 Content Scales scoring materials, profile sheets, and the like; the MMPI-A test booklet and manual, scoring materials, profile sheets, and the like, including for the two alcohol and drug problem scales [ACK and PRO], the MMPI-A Content Component Scales, or MMPI-A PSY-5 Scales).
I signed a contract in 1991 with the University of Minnesota in which they acquired The Minnesota Report: Adolescent Interpretive System. This agreement grants my coauthor James Butcher and I 30% of the royalties (split equally between the two of us) the University receive from NCS or its successor (i.e., Pearson Assessments) on sales of this system. I agreed to monitor, improve, and update the interpretive system as needed, and the University agreed to provide clerical and research assistant support for these tasks. In addition, since 1998 I have received 5% of the author's royalties for the Adult Clinical System for my consultation on changes to that system. In total, these royalties meet the University's definition of significant financial interest. My royalty payments come directly from the University of Minnesota Press.
To the best of my knowledge, I own no stocks or bonds in companies publishing psychological tests. I have instructed my financial planners, in those cases where I am to influence purchase decisions, not to purchase interests in such companies.
Send any questions/comments :