The Utility and Comparative Incremental Validity of the MMPI-2 and Trauma Symptom Inventory Validity Scales in the Detection of Feigned PTSD

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Abstract

The authors examined the comparative predictive capacity of the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI) Atypical Response Scale (ATR) and the standard set of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—2 (MMPI-2) fake-bad validity scales (i.e., F, FB, Fp, FBS) to detect feigned posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Remitted trauma victims (n = 60) completed the TSI and MMPI-2 under standard (honest) instructions and then were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental conditions (noncoached/validity scale coached) in which they were administered these instruments again with instruction to fake PTSD. These test protocols were compared with TSI and MMPI-2 results from workplace injury claimants with PTSD (n = 84). The ATR and FBS were able to distinguish only the noncoached participants instructed to fake from the PTSD claimants; in contrast, the F, FB, and Fp scales were able to distinguish both the noncoached and the validity-scale-coached participants from the PTSD claimants. F, FB, and Fp always outperformed the ATR and FBS; neither the ATR nor the FBS was able to add incremental predictive variance to that of F, FB, or Fp.

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