The Personality Assessment Inventory in U.S. Case Law: A Survey and Examination of Relevance to Legal Proceedings.
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The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), a popular measure of personality, psychopathology, and interpersonal functioning, has demonstrated utility to address various psycholegal questions. This case law review examines a large sample of randomly selected published U.S. case law decisions to ascertain how the PAI has been applied and considered by legal decision makers. The review indicates the instrument is popular in criminal and civil legal settings, particularly in preadjudication forensic mental health evaluations (e.g., competency to proceed) and cases considering social security disability benefits. Forensic evaluators and legal actors primarily consider the results of the PAI as indicators of examinee impression management, psychopathology, and interpersonal functioning, although this varied by psycholegal context. The admissibility of the instrument was rarely challenged, although some challenges to the forensic evaluator's interpretation and conclusions emerged. Despite the PAI's popularity, the utility of the instrument is determined by specific, empirically supported, contexts. As such, forensic evaluators must consider how the PAI may inform decision making given examinee characteristics and the psycholegal question.