A Comparison of the Psychometric Properties of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory Full-Length and Short-Form Versions

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Abstract

The Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) has shown promising construct validity as a measure of psychopathy. Because of its relative efficiency, a short-form version of the PPI (PPI–SF) was developed and has proven useful in many psychopathy studies. The validity of the PPI–SF, however, has not been thoroughly examined, and no studies have directly compared the validity of the short form with that of the full-length version. The current study was designed to compare the psychometric properties of both PPI versions, with an emphasis on convergent and discriminant validity in predicting external criteria conceptually relevant to psychopathy. We used both prison (n = 558) and college samples (n = 322) for this investigation. PPI scale scores were more reliable and more strongly correlated with the conceptually relevant criterion measures compared with the PPI–SF, particularly in the prison sample. There were no differences in relative discriminant validity. Thus, overall, the PPI full-length version showed more evidence of construct validity than did the short form, and the consequences of this psychometric difference should be considered when evaluating the clinical utility of each measure.

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