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Date of Award

4-16-1999

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

David S. Nichols, PhD

Second Advisor

Robert B. Basham, PhD

Abstract

Previous research to assess the utility of the MMPI/MMPI-2 to identify cases of psychopathy has been limited to a small number of scales, primarily Scale 4 (Pd), Scale 9 (Ma). the Antisocial Practices content scale (ASP), Gough's Socialization scale (So), and the Morey, Waugh, and Blashfield Antisocial Personality Disorder scale (ANT). This study is a more comprehensive analysis of correlations between a number of MMPI/MMPI-2 scales and indices and Cleckley's clinical conceptualization of psychopathy as measured by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). A number of MMPIIMMPI-2 scales and indices were chosen based on their theoretical relation to psychopathy. Correlational analyses of 48 MMPI-2 scales, indices, and combinations of scales with PCL-R Total, Factor 1, and Factor 2 scores were performed for 3 male samples: 35 insanity acquittees from California, 48 Canadian correctional inmates, and 100 correctional inmates from Kentucky. In general, the levels of the MMPI-2 correlations with PCL-R scores obtained were not sufficiently high to make the MMPI-2 useful in predicting PCL-R scores. Many scales and indices had significant small to moderate correlations with PCL-R Total and Factor 2 scores while a few scales had small correlations with PCL-R Factor 1 scores. Significant correlations with PCL-R total and Factor 2 scores were produced primarily by MMPI-2 scales that measure Antisocial Personality Disorder and deviant behaviors in general. The results suggest that the MMPI-2, at least in terms of the scales and indices explored in this study and for criminal samples, is more a measure of the antisocial behaviors than the personality traits associated with psychopathy. However, general trends were found for MMPI-2 correlates that are informative in relation to theories of psychopathy such as Gough, Quay, and Eysenck, as well as to the properties of the MMPI-2 item pool for modeling PCL-R scores.

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