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Effectiveness of the MMPI-2 validity indicators in the detection of defensive responding in clinical and nonclinical samples

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In this study, 38 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (mean age 39.9 yrs) who had previously completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—2 (MMPI—2) by responding honestly were asked to complete it again with instructions to conceal their symptoms. 49 students (mean age 23.7 yrs) followed similar instructions. Under instructions to fake good, both students and patients were able to produce clinical profiles that were significantly less pathological. The Other-Deception and Superlative Scales were best at distinguishing fake-good and honest profiles in the student sample. The Edwards Social Desirability Scale and the L scale were best at distinguishing fake-good and honest profiles in the patient sample. The Wiggins Social Desirability scale was best at distinguishing honestly responding students from patients faking good. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Psychological
Assessment
1997,
\fel9.
No. 4,
406-413
Copyright
1997
by the
American
Psychological Association,
Inc.
1040-3590/97/S3.00
Effectiveness
of the
MMPI-2
Validity Indicators
in the
Detection
of
Defensive
Responding
in
Clinical
and
Nonclinical Samples
R.
Michael
Bagby
Clarke
Institute
of
Psychiatry
University
of
Toronto
Richard Rogers
University
of
North
Texas
Robert
A.
Nicholson
University
of
Tulsa
Tom
Buis
York
University
Mary
V.
Seeman
and
Neil
A.
Rector
Clarke
Institute
of
Psychiatry
University
of
Toronto
In
this
study, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia
(n
= 38) who had
previously
completed
the
Minnesota
Multiphasic
Personality
Inventory—2
(MMPI-2)
by
responding honestly were asked
to
complete
it
again
with
instructions
to
conceal
their symptoms.
A
student group
(n
=
49)
followed
similar instructions. Under instructions
to
fake
good,
both
students
and
patients
were
able
to
produce
clinical
profiles that were
significantly
less
pathological.
The
Other-Deception
and
Superlative
Scales
were
best
at
distinguishing
fake-good
and
honest profiles
in the
student sample.
The
Edwards Social
Desirability
Scale
and the L
scale
were
best
at
distinguishing fake-good
and
honest profiles
in the
patient
sample.
The
Wiggins Social Desirability scale
was
best
at
distinguishing honestly
responding
students
from
patients
faking
good.
In
many situations individuals undergoing psychological
as-
sessment
have much
to
gain
by
concealing
or
otherwise
min-
imizing
psychopathology.
Are the
parties
to a
custody dispute
as
well-adjusted
as
they
claim
or
merely adept
at
masking
psy-
chological
dysfunction?
Does
the
repeat
offender
appear ready
to be
reintegrated into society because
he or she has
been reha-
bilitated
or
because
he or she has
learned
to
simulate psychologi-
cal
health (Pope,
Butcher,
&
Seelen, 1993,
p.
97)?
Is the
person
with
schizophrenia desiring
discharge
from
the
hospital really
free
of
symptoms likely
to
compromise
adjustment
to the
com-
munity
and
precipitate
readmission?
The
Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality
Inventory—2
(MMPI-2;
Butcher, Dahlstrom, Gra-
ham,
Tellegen,
&
Kaemmer,
1989) contains
a
number
of
indica-
tors
and
scales specifically designed
to
detect overt denial
and
R.
Michael Bagby,
Section
on
Personality
and
Psychopathology,
Clarke Institute
of
Psychiatry,
and
Department
of
Psychiatry, University
of
Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Richard Rogers, Department
of
Psychology, University
of
North Texas;
Robert
A.
Nicholson, Department
of
Psychology, University
of
Tulsa;
Tom
Buis, Department