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James N. Butcher, Ph.D., Biography

James N. Butcher, PhD, is a professor emeritus of psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Guilford College in North Carolina with a BA in psychology in 1960, received an MA in experimental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1962, and received a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1964. He was awarded honorary doctorates for his international personality assessment research (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, in 1990 and from the University of Florence, Italy (Laurea ad Honorem in Psychology) in 2005. He received the Bruno Klopfer Award from the Society for Personality Assessment in 2004 for longstanding contributions to personality assessment.

He has maintained an active research program in the areas of personality assessment, abnormal psychology, cross-cultural personality factors, and computer-based personality assessment. He is a past member of the University of Minnesota Press's MMPI Consultative Committee. Since 1982, the committee has been actively engaged in a large-scale project to revise and restandardize the MMPI. He is the former editor of Psychological Assessment and currently serves as consulting editor for numerous other journals in psychology and psychiatry. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Society for Personality Assessment and the Executive Committees of Divisions 1 (General Psychology) and 5 (Division of Measurement and Evaluation) of the American Psychological Association. He is an active fellow of the American Psychological Association.

In 1965, James Butcher, a new faculty member of the University of Minnesota and just out of graduate school at the University of North Carolina, founded the Symposium on Recent Developments in the Use of the MMPI to provide a forum for researchers to discuss current and proposed research on the MMPI. Over the years of its existence, the annual symposium has served as a vehicle for many important new developments in the MMPI and generated numerous research investigations that have opened new research directions for the instrument. A year after the MMPI symposium began, the need for practical training in the use of the test became apparent because many psychologists were not receiving assessment training in their graduate programs. The MMPI symposium was expanded to include practical workshops on the clinical application of the MMPI. Since its inception, the MMPI Workshop Series has provided professional training on the MMPI and MMPI-2 to thousands of psychologists in the United States.

Throughout his career in psychology, Butcher has been involved in studying the use of the MMPI in intercultural contexts. In 1970, he founded the International Conference on Personality Assessment, which has been held every 2 years. The conference provides the opportunity for scholars from a range of countries to discuss their research and to exchange views on issues and techniques in personality assessment with professionals from other countries. Programs devoted to facilitating international research on personality assessment have been conducted in several countries--- Australia, Belgium, China, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and South Africa.

Butcher has conducted extensive research on the MMPI for over 44 years in a broad range of contexts and published 50 books and more than 175 articles in the areas of personality assessment, abnormal psychology, and psychotherapy. His publications include basic research works in abnormal psychology, personality assessment, and the MMPI, including research methodology and computer applications of psychological tests. He was central figure in the revision of the MMPI and the development of the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A. Butcher's contribution to the MMPI revision began in 1969, when he organized a national symposium to address the question of whether the MMPI needed to be revised and, if so, how. During the 1970s, he published articles and held additional meetings to keep alive the possibility of an MMPI revision. Finally in 1982, the test publisher initiated a revision with a team composed of Butcher, Grant Dahlstrom, Jack R. Graham, and Auke Tellegen (who participated in the later stages of the project). The MMPI revision effort spanned 10 years and included scores of empirical studies with a broad range of normal and clinical populations. This revision effort culminated in the publication of the MMPI-2 in 1989 and the MMPI-A in 1992.

In addition to MMPI, MMPI-2, & MMPI-A in Court: A Practical Guide for Expert Witnesses & Attorneys, 3rd edition (by K.S. Pope, J.N. Butcher, & J. Seelen; published by the American Psychological Association), Butcher has authored a number of books on the MMPI and abnormal psychology. His published books include: Butcher, J. N. (2005). MMPI-2: A beginner’s guide (Second Edition) (The American Psychological Association); International Adaptations of the MMPI-2 (University of Minnesota Press, 1996); Use of the MMPI-2 in Treatment Planning (Oxford University Press, 1990b); A Practitioner's Guide to Computerized Psychological Assessment (Basic Books, 1987), Essentials of MMPI-2 and MMPI-A Interpretation (with Carolyn L. Williams; University of Minnesota Press, Second Edition) (2002), Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life with Sue Mineka and Jill Hooley. Allyn-Bacon (12th ed.) (2004); Butcher, J. N. (Ed). (2002). Clinical personality assessment (2nd Edition). New York: Oxford University Press; and Handbook of Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (2nd ed., with Philip C. Kendall & Grayson Holmback; Wiley, 1999).

He has been actively involved in developing and organizing disaster response programs for dealing with human problems following airline disasters. Dr. Butcher organized a model crisis intervention disaster response for the Minneapolis-Paul Airport and organized and supervised psychological services following two major airline disasters, the Northwest Flight 255 and Aloha Airlines's Maui accidents.

Butcher's forensic testimony, the source of much material included in this book, has been extensive and covers many types of legal cases. As might be expected, his testimony almost always centers around the interpretation of MMPI-2 scores. Issues concerning technical aspects of the test or the likely meaning of a particular MMPI configuration are common themes in his court testimony. His forensic experience includes personal injury, criminal, family custody, and medical malpractice.

Finally, Jim spends some of his spare time painting watercolors. If you'd like to see some of his work, here's his watercolor of Minnehaha Falls, his watercolor of Glacier Express, his watercolor of the bike path in Excelsior, and his watercolor of Vicksburg Courthouse, which is the cover art of The MMPI, MMPI-2, & MMPI-A in Court: A Practical Guide for Expert Witnesses and Attorneys, Third Edition, published by the American Psychological Association in May, 2006.


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