New Article: The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) CBS and CB-SOS cognitive over-reporting scales in Veterans

Recently, a collaboration with the wonderful folks at the Salisbury Veteran Affairs MIRECC was published in The Clinical Neuropsychologist. In this article we examined the CBS and CB-SOS scales for the PAI to determine their detection of over-reported cognitive symptoms (Word Memory Test Criterion) and general psychopathology over-reporting (M-Fast Criterion) in a sample of post-deployment Veterans. This is an exciting article that continues to grow validity detection effectiveness and options on the PAI and the article also highlights some very important considerations for traditional conceptualizations of distinct over-reporting strategies (e.g., cognitive, somatic, and psychological distress patterns; Sweet et al., 2021).

Specifically, results highlight that scales designed to assess cognitive domains may not be distinct from other domains, in part because of the non-distinct item content used to generate the scales, even when using “boot strapped floor effect” approaches to scale generation (see Burchett & Bagby, click me). Such findings are supported by the overall classification rates contrasted between M-fast and WMT when contrasting 90% specificity value points (Table 5), as well as higher sensitivity. While it is possible that this pattern is sample dependent, this pattern is also evident on other instruments/cognitive over-reporting scales (e.g., Butcher et al., 2008). Thus, these findings highlight a specific instrument development need and have direct implications moving forward for how instrument embedded validity scales should be conceptualized.

From the discussion in this recently published Shura et al (2022) paper, “Revisions to testing measures that aim to expand cognitive overreporting assessment, and to focus on this domain of symptom response (Sherman et al., 2020), may benefit from increased emphasis on the development of cognitively focused items based on a priori, empirically based content. Explicit use of validity detection patterns (Rogers & Shuman, 2005) at early developmental phases (e.g. creating specific items that highlight symptom incongruence or symptom rarity; Rogers & Bender, 2018), rather than post-hoc identification of items that may not measure those constructs explicitly is warranted. Well-specified item-pool revision efforts specific to validity testing needs and standards (Sherman et al., 2020; Martin et al., 2015) may not only improve general and longstanding classification difficulties (i.e. low sensitivity), but the distinctiveness of symptom clusters. Even if the overlapping PVT/SVT performance does not resolve entirely as a function of shifted developmental priorities, placing an increased emphasis on validity content development at the test revision stage remains necessary. Broadband measures are widely and historically preferred because of their SVTs (Ben-Porath & Waller, 1992; Russo, 2018), as well as the broader growth in focus on SVT-related research (Sweet et al., 2021). Research on validity scales tends to use either PVT or SVT criterion as an outcome, but rarely within the same study. Given the potential for effective performance on the related (but not overlapping) constructs of PVTs and SVTs, the inclusion of distinct criterion measures that assess divergent
over-reporting symptom sets (somatic, cognitive, or psychological; Sweet et al., 2021) is also merited.”


Published by Dr. Ingram's Psychology Research Lab

I'm an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Texas Tech University and an active researcher of psychological assessment, veterans, and treatment engagement. I am also in private practice here in Lubbock Texas.

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