Psychopaths frequently con and manipulate others in an attempt to achieve their own objectives. In the current literature, correlational research has generally found that psychopathy has (a) an inverse relation with social desirability and (b) a positive relation with malingering. Although instructive, these correlational data do not address whether the assessment of psychopathy is vulnerable to specific response styles. This study examined 2 response styles among adolescent offenders in the context of pending adjudication: social desirability and social nonconformity. On 3 measures of psychopathy (i.e., Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version, Psychopathy Screening Device, and Self-Report of Psychopathy-Second Edition), a simulation design was employed with a realistic scenario, incentives for successful deception, and appropriate manipulation checks. Results indicated moderate to large effect sizes for social desirability and large effect sizes for social nonconformity. The implications of these results for the clinical assessment of psychopathy are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis