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Validity study of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory in a noncriminal population

Dissertation
Author: Julie Madeleine Woltil
Abstract:
The Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) is a self-report measure which was created by Lilienfeld and Andrews (1996) to identify the personality traits of psychopathy in noncriminal populations. These personality traits were grouped into eight subscales in the PPI including Machiavellian Egocentricity, Social Potency, Coldheartedness, Carefree Nonplanfulness, Fearlessness, Blame Externalization, Impulsive Nonconformity and Stress Immunity. In this study, the relationship between the PPI and four theoretically related concepts (psychopathy, empathy, sensation seeking and driving anger) were examined to evaluate its concurrent and construct validity. A positive correlation was found between the PPI and the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the Driving Anger Scale, the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Contrastingly, a negative correlation was found between the PPI's Coldheartedness Subscale and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The results of this study have helped to further the conceptualization of the successful psychopath and the validity of the PPI in its assessment.

Table of Contents .............................................................................................................. iv

List of Tables .................................................................................................................... vi

Abstract ............................................................................................................................ vii Chapter

1. Introduction and Literature Review ............................................................................. 1

Psychopathy‘s History ........................................................................................... 1 Research on Etiology of Psychopathy ................................................................... 2

Social Theories................................................................................................. 2 Emotional Theories .......................................................................................... 6 Biological Theories .......................................................................................... 7 Overview of Etiological Research ................................................................. 11

Gender Differences .............................................................................................. 11 Assessing Psychopathy ........................................................................................ 11

Factor Structure of the PPI ............................................................................. 16 Validity of the PPI ......................................................................................... 20

Aim ...................................................................................................................... 21

Hypothesis 1....................................................................................................... Hypothesis 2....................................................................................................... Hypothesis 3....................................................................................................... Hypothesis 4.......................................................................................................

2. Methods...................................................................................................................... 24

Participants ........................................................................................................... 24 Surveys ................................................................................................................. 24

3. Results ........................................................................................................................ 28

4. Discussion .................................................................................................................. 31

Concurrent Validity ............................................................................................. 31

v Construct Validity ................................................................................................ 32 Gender Differences .............................................................................................. 35 Ethnic Differences ............................................................................................... 35 Religious Differences........................................................................................... 37 Limitations ........................................................................................................... 37 Future Studies ...................................................................................................... 38 Conclusions .......................................................................................................... 39

References ..........................................................................................................................44

Appendices A. Self-Report Psychopathy Scale ...........................................................................49 B. Driving Anger Scale ...........................................................................................53 C. Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking ...............................................................54 D. Interpersonal Reactivity Index ............................................................................56 E. Psychopathic Personality Inventory ....................................................................58 F. Information Sheet................................................................................................69

vi TABLES

Tables Page

1. Factor Structure of the PPI .....................................................................................21 2. Demographic Variables .........................................................................................24 3. Correlation Matrix of the PPI, SRP-II, DAS, AISS and IRI..................................28

vii ABSTRACT OF DISSERTATION

Validity Study of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory in a Noncriminal Population

by

Julie Madeleine Woltil

Doctorate in Philosophy Candidate in Psychology Loma Linda University, September, 2010 Todd Burley, Chair

The Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) is a self-report measure which was created by Lilienfeld and Andrews (1996) to identify the personality traits of psychopathy in noncriminal populations. These personality traits were grouped into eight subscales in the PPI including Machiavellian Egocentricity, Social Potency, Coldheartedness, Carefree Nonplanfulness, Fearlessness, Blame Externalization, Impulsive Nonconformity and Stress Immunity. In this study, the relationship between the PPI and four theoretically related concepts (psychopathy, empathy, sensation seeking and driving anger) were examined to evaluate its concurrent and construct validity. A positive correlation was found between the PPI and the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the Driving Anger Scale, the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Contrastingly, a negative correlation was found between the PPI‘s Coldheartedness Subscale and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The results of this study have helped to further the conceptualization of the successful psychopath and the validity of the PPI in its assessment.

1 Introduction and Literature Review Psychopathy’s History The study and diagnosis of psychopathy began in the early days of psychology with Philippe Pinel. In 1801, Pinel identified a similar disorder to psychopathy and called it ―la manie sans delire‖, where patients showed signs of aberrant affect and impulsivity (Sutker & Allain, 2001). The first to operationalize the concept of psychopathy was Cleckley. In his book The Mask of Sanity (1941), Cleckley described many of his cases to show the basis of the disorder. He portrayed his patients as being hot tempered, narcissistic, callous, irritable, remorseless, unable to learn from past experiences and maladjusted towards law and order. Based on his research and clinical practice, Cleckley identified 16 criteria to be used in the diagnosis of psychopathy. In Cleckley‘s research he also showed the differentiation between two groups of psychopaths: the unsuccessful and the successful psychopath (1941). The unsuccessful psychopaths are labeled as such because they exhibit psychopathic behaviors which lead them to incarceration or institutionalization in a mental hospital. According to research, prevalence rates of psychopathy in both prisons and mental hospitals are much lower than Antisocial Peraonlity Disorder (ASPD) rates. In fact, only 15% of male prisoners, 7.5% of female prisoners, 10% of forensic psychiatric male patients and less than 1% of the general community meet the criteria for psychopathy, according to the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991). On the other hand, the successful psychopaths are still within the community, engaging in psychopathic behaviors of lower severity which have not yet caught the attention of the authorities. Although the reported prevalence rate of the successful

2 psychopath falls at less than 1%, it is difficult to determine whether this is accurate due to the limitations of testing on individuals who are not incarcerated. Cleckley found this population especially fascinating especially because these individuals were high functioning—some were doctors, scientists, lawyers, business men and even psychiatrists. Their behaviors were mostly manipulative and fraudulent as opposed to violent, but still considered serious in the eyes of their victims. There have been many empirical studies done since Cleckley to define and explain the etiology of psychopathy and the potential environmental or biological characteristics which differentiate the psychopathic individuals from the normal population. Environmental factors which have been argued over the years include social modeling, family dynamics, common risk factors and personality development.

Research on Etiology of Psychopathy Social Theories. One of the many theories is that children learn by modeling aggression from their environment—typically from parents (Bandura, Ross and Ross, 1961). In Bandura‘s classic study of the Bobo doll, he demonstrated that children who were shown aggressive behaviors by an adult (punching the doll in the face, sitting on him, using the hammer to hit the doll) repeated those behaviors significantly more than children who had not been shown the modeled behaviors (1961). It has been shown in Bandura‘s study that children can learn to model aggressive behaviors (1961), but learning the aggressive behavior is not enough to lead to a disorder. On the contrary, young children imitating their peers by biting or kicking is part of the normal development of a child, what becomes ‗abnormal‘, or disorder-like, is the maintenance

3 of aggressive behaviors even after being taught not to repeat them. One theory of maintenance for aggressive behaviors was presented by Eron, Huesmann, Dubow, Romanoff and Yarmel, in their 22 year longitudinal study (1987). Eron et al. concluded that children continue to behave aggressively because they are, in a way, rewarded for their behavior. One part of the study looked at the congruence between a child‘s rating of his parents and the parents self-rating as far as parenting style. The authors described this variable as how much a child identified with both of their parents—the variable was broken down into low, medium and high level of identification. Boys who identified greatly with their fathers were found to have lower levels of aggression even in the presence of punishment (Eron et al.). Boys who had low or medium level of identification however, showed very high levels of aggression both at home and at school. They concluded that for those boys, the punishment had an instigating effect instead of an inhibitory effect (Eron et al.). A vicious cycle is then instilled because aggressive behaviors in children will be punished by parents. If some of those children find the punishment, often physical in nature, rewarding, then aggressive behaviors will continue to be present, which the researchers concluded often leads to a diagnosis of conduct disorder (Eron et al.). Another important causal environmental factor is the role of the family dynamic. Luntz and Widom (1994) looked at a sample of abused and/or neglected children and compared them with a control group which was matched on demographic variables. They followed both groups into early adulthood and found that child abuse and neglect was a significant predictor of psychopathy in their sample. There are many long-lasting effects which stem from a child growing up in an environment where child abuse or

4 neglect is present. There have been other problematic family dynamics which have been found to lead to psychopathy, one of them being the role of parental rejection and emotional deprivation leading children to adopt some antisocial behaviors later in life (McCord and McCord, 1964). The parental rejection can lead children to seek attention in ways that are often antisocial in nature. In addition, children whose parents failed to provide them with the emotional support they needed can have stunted emotional development—this may lead to an inability to empathize with others, another hallmark of psychopathy. Another factor which was also shown to lead to antisocial behaviors was the presence of erratic and punitive behavior from parents (McCord and McCord). Although both McCord & McCord and Hare agree that those parental traits lead to antisocial behaviors, they emphasize the fact that not all children who have been in that type of home environment will later be diagnosed as psychopathic. They do, however, believe that it is a significant risk factor. Some of the risk factors found in the psychopathy literature are also common risk factors for many mental disorders. The more stressors present within the family dynamic, the higher the risk of a child displaying behavioral problems, such as conduct disorder. The presence of conduct disorder then increases the likelihood of psychopathic traits being identified in adulthood. The most highly correlated risk factors are low socioeconomic status, stressful family environments, poor marital relations in parents and low social support (Shaw and Emery, 1988; Winslow, Shaw, Bruns, Kiebler, 1995; Renken, Egeland, Marvinney, Mangelsdorf, Stroufe, 1989). Due to the overall multicollinearity of the factors, there has not been a simple model which organized the predictive effects of all the identified risk factor in the development of psychopathy. As

5 can be imagined, those risk factors play an important role in the onset and vulnerability to many psychological disorders. Because these risks factors are common in many disorders, personality and resiliency play an intricate part in determining whether the stressors and risk factors develop into a mental disorder. All the previously mentioned environmental factors can play an important role in the development of psychopathy in adulthood. However, one of the most important aspects of personality development is children‘s ability to develop and use appropriate social information processing. If children learn to process environmental cues improperly, it will shape the way they view the world and become part of their personality process. In the discussion of psychopathy, the level of reactivity in social interactions is vital, especially because it has been shown that psychopaths have a higher degree of reactive aggression (Blair, Mitchell and Blair, 2005). It is important to examine the way in which psychopaths learned to process and interpret social information in a manner which leads to reactive aggression. The social information processing theory developed by Crick and Dodge (1996) postulated that children who act in aggressive ways do so due to a ―series of sequential mental operations‖ (Dodge, 171). Most children have a competent social information processing (SIP) which allows them to adapt to social situations. Certain children, however, have inaccurate or ineffective SIP which leads to aggressive and antisocial behavior (Dodge and Coie, 1987). There are six steps in the SIP model: encoding of social cues, interpretation of social cues, clarification of goals, response access or construction, response evaluation and decision, and behavioral enactment (Crick and Dodge). An example of this type of processing can be seen in the following example. Suppose a child is standing in line at

6 the cafeteria and is suddenly pushed. First, the child must attend to the social cues—to do this, the child might look around to see how people are reacting towards him having been pushed. Second, an interpretation of the event must take place, such as ‗the other boy must have done it on purpose!‘. Third, a goal for the event must be decided, such as ‗I am going to punch him in the face‘ or ‗I am going to get even and push him back‘. Fourth, the child evaluates whether this is an appropriate action—is it okay to push or punch someone? If the child evaluates the action positively, then he will enact the behavior and punch or push the child. For children who show aggressive or antisocial tendencies, the interpretation of the social cues is inappropriate, as it was in the example—most children will not evaluate the chosen action positively, and will instead inquire about the event, go to a teacher or simply ignore what has just happened. An aggressive child, however, might automatically assume that the boy who pushed him did it on purpose, which is called an hostile attributional bias (Nasby, Hayden and DePaulo, 1979). As children grow up, this SIP method remains with them and they continue interpreting social interactions with this hostile attributional bias, thereby increasing the chance of adopting psychopathic personality traits (Dodge, Price, Bachorowski and Newman, 1990). In examining the role of childhood development, it is important to see its relationship to the adult development of disorders. An important link described when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) added a new criteria to the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder: the presence of a conduct disorder before the age of 15 is necessary to the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.

7 Emotional Theories. Although many find psychopathy to be synonymous with antisocial personality disorder, there is one key important difference, the emotional part of their disorder. In the book The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain , the authors (Blair, Mitchell and Blair, 2005) argue that while the antisocial behaviors of patients with both disorders may be the same, the patients diagnosed with psychopathy exhibit an emotional dysfunction, leading them to act in antisocial ways. This emotional disorder leads to the patient showing more reactive aggression in addition to higher levels of instrumental aggression, two types of antisocial behaviors rarely seen in patients diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (Blair et al., 2005). In addition, patients diagnosed with psychopathy rarely feel remorse or guilt over their actions and often fail to notice how their actions impact others—two traits which separate them from patients with antisocial personality disorder (Blair et al., 2005). Biological Theories. There are also biological factors which act as precursors or predispositions to the onset of psychopathy. These factors will be evaluated in two regards: the role of genetics, and the biological differences of those diagnosed with psychopathy from the normal population. Studies done with twins have suggested that psychopathy may be partially genetically based. Although many studies have reported percentage of concordance in monozygous and dizygous twins varies tremendously—in monozygous twins, the concordance for criminal conduct has been reported to be as low as 53% and as high as 70%; in dizygous twins, the concordance rate was as low as 13% and as high as 37% (Eysenck and Eysenck, 1978; Cloninger, Reich and Guze, 1978; Slutske, Heath, Dinwiddie, Madden, Buckholz, Dunne, Statham and Martin, 1997). Due to the high

8 concordance in both monozygous and dizygous twins, further research was done to determine what causes such high values. Carey (1992) asserted that there might be a confounding factor in the values found for criminal conduct concordance in twins. He believed that twins were prone to spend more time together, participate in similar activities and interact within the same circle of friends (Carey). He postulated that some of the criminal behaviors twins reported in the data he was analyzing (his research was based on the 1968 Christansen Danish study) was simply modeled behavior—either one twin was modeling the other or both twins were modeling behaviors from their peers. Carey concluded that heritability played a large part in the predisposition of psychopathic personality traits, but that sibling interaction was also crucial in the evolution of criminal and antisocial behaviors. Some of the more important evidence of heritability of psychopathy come from studies of twins reared apart. Such a study was conducted to see whether there was a genetic component to antisocial behavior in adults (Grove, Eckert, Heston, Bouchard, Segal and Lykken, 1990). They interviewed twins who had been reared apart and sorted them based on them showing signs of antisocial personality disorder using criteria from the DSM-III. The results showed that there was significant heritability of antisocial behaviors at p ≤ 0.01. A word of caution: as with most mental disorders, first degree relatives of those diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder are more likely to also be diagnosed—both based on the heritability of the disorder and because of the social interactions discussed by Carey (1992). Psychophysiological abnormalities have also been identified in individuals diagnosed with psychopathy. One of the leading etiological theories is a prefrontal

9 cortical dysfunction. Raine (1997) explains that ―damage to the frontal lobe can predispose antisocial and violent behavior‖ (297). Although most psychopaths do not show physical damage in their frontal lobe, brain imaging research has been able to identify dysfunctions within the prefrontal cortex (Raine, Buchsbaum, Stanley, Lottenberg, Abel and Stoddard, 1994). These differing patterns in functioning have been linked to the psychophysiological arousal and orienting deficits seen in that population (Raine et al.). PET studies on murderers diagnosed with psychopathy and age related controls (Raine et al.) found significantly reduced amounts of glucose metabolism in the prefrontal lobes. Other studies have buttressed the arguments by Raine et al. (1994) showing that reduced frontal glucose metabolism was related to violent and aggressive behavior (Goyer, Andreason, Semple, Clayton, King, Compton-Toth, Schulz and Cohen, 1994). The prefrontal lobe dysfunction also seems to address one of the key traits of psychopathy: lack of fear or anxiety. Studies have shown that people with lesions to the prefrontal cortex tend to have reduced anxiety levels and are less reactive to stressors (Stuss and Benson, 1986). Psychophysiological difference between the psychopathy population compared to the general population has been noted in the study of cerebral blood flow. The leading experiment which addressed this issue looked at the cerebral blood flow of both a psychopathic and normal group as they were doing a semantic and affective task (Intrator, Hare, Stritzke, Brichtswein, Dorfman, Harpur, Bernstein, Handelsman, Schaefer, Keilp, Rosen and Machac, 1997). Subjects were asked to identify words and nonwords, where one set of words was neutral and the other was emotional. The control group stored greater activation during the presentation of the neutral words relative to

10 the emotional words (Intrator et al.). Psychopaths, however, showed greater activation during the presentation of the emotional words. Intrator et al. (1997) speculated that because psychopaths are often unemotional and lack empathy, there is a greater need for mental processing when shown words requiring emotional understanding. Similarly, another study by Blair et al. (2001) found that psychopaths had difficulty identifying faces showing emotions compared to controls. The participants were shown a neutral facial stimulus which they then morphed into an expression of fear. They found that the control group could identify the emotion of fear at a 65% morph, while the psychopathic participants needed the morph to be at 75% before being able to identify the expression as fear (Blair et al., 2001). Other studies have also shown that children and adults with psychopathic traits showed an impairment in identifying fearful vocal affect and even sad vocal affect (Blair et al., 2001; Stevens et al., 2001). Overview of etiological research. Research suggests that environmental factors from early childhood paired with genetic predispositions towards violence are the main contributors in the development of psychopathy. This nature-nurture combination comes as no surprise since most psychological disorders show some risk factors in both domains. The psychophysiological research identifies areas of differences between the psychopathic population and ―normals‖ which can be used as collateral evidence for its diagnosis. This is an important finding in the research literature since assessing psychopathy has lacked standardization or agreement within the field. Although brain imaging is rarely done as the sole form of diagnosis, its use may be helpful in solidifying diagnosis.

11 The importance of the etiological research can be seen in how we assess psychopathy. Risk factors from childhood are incorporated in most testing instruments in the form of questions regarding antisocial behavior as a child and parental involvement in childrearing (Hare, 1991). In addition, research on social and emotional processing can also be seen in the psychopathy scales in terms of one‘s ability to form close relationships and how one interprets others actions towards them (Hare, 1991; Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996).

Gender Differences Although research on psychopathy has yielded hundreds of studies, very few deal with women. As research evolved and more data emerged on psychopathy with men, clinicians often had to apply the results to female clients in trying to establish the diagnosis of psychopathy or in trying to understand it and treat it. There are, however, tremendous gender differences which need to be considered before applying the same guidelines to women when most of the standardization and research has only been with men. Recent studies on women and psychopathy found a major difference in some of the psychopathic behaviors women engaged in compared to men. Psychopathic women are more likely to engage in reactive aggression, whereas psychopathic men typically engaged in instrumental aggression (Warren et al., 2005). In the re-standardization of the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), Hare found that women averaged 4-6 points lower than men (1991). Some researchers believe that women may show some symptoms which are more typical of the diagnosis of histrionic personality disorder as

12 opposed to men who typically fulfill the criteria of antisocial personality disorder (Hamburger et al., 1996; Sutker et al., 2001).

Assessing Psychopathy Thus, research seems to indicate that both environmental and biological factors play a hand in the onset of psychopathy. Scientists and clinicians‘ understanding of psychopathy remains minimal due to the within group differences—two individuals may show psychopathic traits but may be involved in completely different antisocial activity (i.e. murder versus fraud). This within-group difference addresses Cleckley‘s early conceptualization of the successful and unsuccessful psychopath. Research has focused on the unsuccessful psychopaths, those who have lengthy criminal records and engage in many antisocial behaviors, but research is scant on those who possess more psychopathic personality traits, rather than antisocial behaviors. Psychological research has not studied the successful psychopath, i.e. the deceitful politician or the manipulative CEO. Researching the successful psychopathic population is, however, important since they may possess the same level of emotional and interpersonal deficiency. As discussed previously, antisocial personality disorder has very similar criteria as those first postulated by Cleckley in 1941. Since psychopathy, however, has not been identified by the DSM-IV as a psychiatric disorder, its assessment requires a separate tool. Building on research done by Cleckey, Hare (1991) advanced the study and diagnosis of psychopathy by creating a new assessment tool for diagnosing psychopathy called the PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised). The PCL-R is a twenty-item scale

13 which has shown to be highly effective in the diagnosis of psychopathy among criminal and institutionalized offenders. The scale is completed by the clinician via a lengthy interview with the client and the gathering of collateral data, such as the client‘s criminal record and interviews with family members, to show evidence of psychopathy. Although the PCL-R is a great tool for assessing psychopathy among criminal or institutionalized offenders, it cannot be used for the evaluation of the ―successful‖ psychopath, as described by Cleckley. One of the problems with using the PCL-R for non-forensic populations is its requirement for behavioral corroborating evidence, such as a criminal record, which is often absent in the general population. The need for an assessment tool for the non-institutionalized, non-forensic, ‗successful‘ psychopath is crucial in understanding what differentiates them from the traditionally researched institutionalized criminal psychopaths. The Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) was created by Lilienfeld and Andrews (1996) to assess the personality traits associated with successful psychopaths. Both believe that the construct of psychopathy has been poorly conceptualized by its two main theorists, Cleckley and Hare (Lilienfeld & Andrews). Cleckley saw psychopathic features as being based in personality traits more than in behavioral characteristics—hence his definition of a successful psychopath, one who does not necessarily engage in the behavioral aspect of psychopathy. Hare, on the other hand, focused his assessment measures on the criminal behavior characteristics of psychopathy—impulsiveness and aggression. Because of this inconsistency in the conceptualization of psychopathy, Lilienfeld and Andrews decided to focus only on personality traits. The PPI was created around 24 main personality constructs which had

14 been outlined by Cleckley (1941), for a total of 187 items rated on a 4 point Likert scale—false, mostly false, mostly true and true (Lilienfeld & Andrews). The scale was divided into 8 subscales: Machiavellian Egocentricity, Social Potency, Coldheartedness, Carefree Nonplanfulness, Fearlessness, Blame Externalization, Impulsive Nonconformity and Stress Immunity (Lilienfeld & Andrews). Following is a brief description of each cluster along with an example of items associated with that scale.  Machiavellian Egocentricity is the largest subscale of the PPI and it assesses narcissistic and exploitative attitudes in interpersonal functioning (e.g. ―I always look out for my own interest before worrying about those of the other guy‖ -true).  Social Potency is defined as one‘s perceived ability to manipulate or influence others (e.g. ―Even when others are upset with me, I can usually win them over with my charm‖ –true).  Coldheartedness measures the presence callousness, guiltlessness and the absence of sentimentality (e.g. ―I have had crushes on people that were so intense that they were painful‖ –false).  Carefree Nonplanfulness assesses the absence of forethought and insensitivity to consequences that follows behaviors (―I often make the same error in judgment over and over again‖ –true).  Fearlessness measures the absence of anxiety concerning harm and a willingness or desire to participate in risky activities (―Making a parachute jump would really frighten me‖ –false).  Blame Externalization assesses the tendency to blame others or to rationalize one‘s misbehavior (―I usually feel that people give me the credit I deserve‖ –false).

15  Impulsive Nonconformity measures the lack of concern towards social rules (―I sometimes question authority figures just for the hell of it‖ –true).  Stress Immunity is the smallest subscale and it assesses the absence of reactions to anxiety-provoking events (―I can remain calm in situations that would make many other people panic‖ –true). In addition to the eight subscales, the PPI also includes three validity subscales. The three scales are Deviant Responding, Unlikely Virtues and Variable Response Inconsistency scored on a 4 point Likert scale (Lilienfeld & Andrews; Sandoval et al., 2000). Here is a brief description of the validity scales.  Deviant Responding, was designed to detect any malingering, reading comprehension difficulties or careless responding. The deviant responding scale includes items like ―During the day, I see the world in color rather than in black and white‖. A response of false would alert the examiner that the results of the PPI might not be valid.  The Unlikely Virtues validity scale includes items based on the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire developed by Tellegen in 1978. These items measure socially desirable impression management and they include items like ―I have always been completely fair to others‖. It is very unlikely that one would respond ‗true‘ to that item and would indicate that the individual taking the PPI is trying to impress the examiner by seeming unreasonably virtuous.  Response Consistency is composed of item pairs in the PPI and comparing the response on those items will show whether there is response inconsistency among items which share the same content. Responding to two items which are based from

16 the same construct differently or inconsistently indicates the validity of their result on the PPI is most likely jeopardized. The design of the PPI was a long process which included many analyses by its authors to ensure it had proper content to address the construct of psychopathy. Lilienfeld and Andrews thoroughly examined its psychometric properties and found it had high internal consistency (Cronbach α = 0.92), high test-retest reliability (r = 0.95) and high correlations with other psychopathy scales, such as the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale Revised (SRP-R, r = 0.90; MMPI-2 Antisocial Scale = 0.56) (Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996). It is important to keep in mind that the results derived from the authors‘ analysis came from a homogenous sample of undergraduate students in their early twenties whose ethnicity was not at all identified. In order to generalize these results, a few studies have been done to assess its psychometric properties in different populations. The PPI is currently undergoing re-standardization which will hopefully use a more diverse sample in order to increase its generalizability. Factor structure of the PPI. The factor structure of the PPI was described in the Lilienfeld and Andrews study as an eight factor model—one factor for each subscale of the test. A few studies have examined the factor structure of the PPI and two investigated it among populations which were different than the original study. These two studies examined the factor structure of the PPI in an older (Benning, Patrick, Hicks, Bloniger, Krueger, 2003) and a non-English speaking population (Maesschalck, Vertommen, Hooghe, 2002). The first looked at 353 male twins in Minnesota in their early forties (Benning, Patrick, Hicks, Bloniger, Krueger, 2003). They found that the PPI had 2 higher order

17 factors after having dropped one of the subscales, namely coldheartedness. They found that coldheartedness was the only subscale loading on a third factor, which lowered the overall percentage of variance assumed (Benning et al., 2003). The second looked at the factor structure of the PPI in 314 Dutch speaking Belgians (Maesschalck, Vertommen, Hooghe, 2002). The factor structure which emerged from their study showed a 7 factor model which varied in reliability from 0.67 to 0.90 (Maesschalck et al., 2002). The article did not discuss any higher order factors. The different methods used for both extraction and rotation explain the variability in results of these two studies. In the original study by Lilienfeld and Andrews, they factor analyzed all 160 items from the scale (they did not include validity items), showing 8 factors based on a principal component extraction method and no rotation. Their criteria for salient factor loadings were liberal, allowing items which loaded below 0.3 to be included as salient items. In the Dutch study of the PPI factor structure, Maesschalck et al. replicated the factor analysis done by Lilienfeld and Andrews. They also included all items in their analysis, using a principal component extraction method and an orthogonal Procrustes congruence rotation which mapped the hypothetical 8 factor model from Lilienfeld and Andrews. The factor analysis showed a 7 factor model, unlike the previous structure described by the authors of the scale. A second factor analysis was done using a principal component extraction method with a Varimax rotation but 7 factors were still present. Their factors were similar to the 8 subscales identified by Lilienfeld and Andrews, but it did not include Blame Externalization. Their criteria for salient item loadings were stricter than those used by the authors of the scale—a minimum loading of 0.4 was required for an item to be

Full document contains 79 pages
Abstract: The Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) is a self-report measure which was created by Lilienfeld and Andrews (1996) to identify the personality traits of psychopathy in noncriminal populations. These personality traits were grouped into eight subscales in the PPI including Machiavellian Egocentricity, Social Potency, Coldheartedness, Carefree Nonplanfulness, Fearlessness, Blame Externalization, Impulsive Nonconformity and Stress Immunity. In this study, the relationship between the PPI and four theoretically related concepts (psychopathy, empathy, sensation seeking and driving anger) were examined to evaluate its concurrent and construct validity. A positive correlation was found between the PPI and the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the Driving Anger Scale, the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Contrastingly, a negative correlation was found between the PPI's Coldheartedness Subscale and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The results of this study have helped to further the conceptualization of the successful psychopath and the validity of the PPI in its assessment.