An investigation of the relationship between psychopathic traits and malingering on the psychopathic personality inventory.
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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.