An investigation of the relationship between psychopathic traits and malingering on the Psychopathic Personality Inventory

John F. Edens, Jacqueline K. Buffington, Tara L. Tomicic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study employed a repeated-measures simulation design to examine (a) the specific effects of malingering on a recently developed measure of psychopathy, the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI), and (b) the broader association between psychopathic traits and dissimulation. One hundred and forty-three participants completed the PPI twice (both under standard instructions and with instructions to feign psychosis), and also completed post-test questionnaires assessing their attitudes toward engaging in malingering across several hypothetical settings. When attempting to feign psychosis, participants produced elevated scores on a validity scale designed to identify deviant responding, and use of a cross-validated cutoff score with this scale produced high sensitivity and specificity rates across the honest and malingering conditions. Furthermore, PPI scores (in the honest condition) were significantly correlated with a willingness to engage in dissimulation across various hypothetical forensic/correctional scenarios. Results are discussed in terms of the "fakability" of the PPI, as well as the relationship between psychopathic personality features and malingering more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalAssessment
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Malingering
  • Psychopathic Personality Inventory
  • Psychopathy
  • Response bias
  • Simulation

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