More on Validity Scales

The issue of valid­ity scales and their use in psy­cho­log­i­cal assess­ments, espe­cially in sit­u­a­tions where “sit­u­a­tional demands” are intense (e.g., child cus­tody, child wel­fare, employee selec­tion) has really got­ten my atten­tion. Here is a pro­posal we are sub­mit­ting for a pre­sen­ta­tion next March in Boston.

Symposium Proposal–Society for Personality Assessment Annual Meeting–Boston, MA March 2011

 Symposium Title: “Are Validity Scales Necessary and Are Existing Ones Cost-Effective?”

Presen­ters: Marvin W. Acklin, PhD (Chair and dis­cus­sant), Independent Practice, Honolulu, Hawaii; Robert McGrath, PhD, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey; Yossef S. Ben-Porath, PhD, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio; Leslie C. Morey, PhD, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas

Abstract: The recent Psychological Bulletin arti­cle by McGrath, et al (2010, “Evidence for Response Bias as a Source of Error in Applied Assessment”) ques­tions the empir­i­cal foun­da­tions of valid­ity scales in detect­ing response bias and impact on sub­stan­tive clin­i­cal scales on self-report per­son­al­ity tests. The paper promises to raise a storm of con­tro­versy. This sym­po­sium exam­ines McGrath, et al’s premises by pre­sent­ing con­cepts, the­o­ries, and empir­i­cal foun­da­tion of response bias in rela­tion to two of the most com­monly used per­son­al­ity tests—the MMPI-2-RF and the PAI. The first paper, by Marvin W. Acklin, is an overview of the­o­ries of decep­tion in self-report test­ing and intro­duces the papers that fol­low. The sec­ond paper by Robert McGrath “Response Bias Measures: Are the Costs Worth the Benefits?” presents his find­ings that lit­tle evi­dence sup­ports the abil­ity of bias mea­sures to pre­dict the valid­ity of sub­stan­tive scales where they are com­monly used in con­nec­tion with mea­sures of per­son­al­ity or psy­chopathol­ogy. The third paper, pre­sented by Yossef Ben-Porath, “Validity Scales are Necessary and Cost-Effective: Illustrations with the MMPI-2-RF,” addresses short­com­ings in the lit­er­a­ture ques­tion­ing the impact of valid­ity on sub­stan­tive clin­i­cal scales, and presents data from the MMPI-2-RF that demon­strates that valid­ity scales do mod­er­ate valid­ity on sub­stan­tive scales. The fourth paper by Leslie Morey, titled “Validity Moderation with Defensive PAI Profiles” addresses con­cep­tual and research find­ings on PAI valid­ity scales. Marvin W. Acklin will dis­cuss the papers. His title is “Presentation of Self in Clinical and Forensic Interviews: Do Validity Scales Do the Trick?: Discussion of Symposium Papers.”

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