Cognitive Over-Reporting Detection on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

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We had another paper published recently looking at the detection of cognitive over-reporting on the PAI, examining the CBS again (see also Armistead-Jehle et al., 2021) along with the new CB-SOS scales. The SOS scales offer a scale level approach to incorporating a cognitive-specific over-reporting scale, rather than needing items like CBS. This paper is in press in the The Journal of Military Psychology with Tristan Herring (lab post-bac), Cole Morris (advanced doctoral student), and the amazing Dr. Pat Armistead-Jehle.

Medium effects were observed between those passing and failing PVTs across all scales. The CB-SOS scales have high specificity (≥.90) but low sensitivity across suggested cut scores. While all CB-SOS were able to achieve .90, lower scores were typically needed. CBS demonstrated incremental validity beyond CB-SOS-1 and CB-SOS-3; only CB-SOS-2 was incremental beyond CBS. In a military sample, the CB-SOS scales have more limited sensitivity than in its original validation, indicating an area of limited utility despite easier calculation. The CBS performs comparably, if not better, than CB-SOS scales. CB-SOS-2’s differences in performance in this study and its initial validation suggest that its psychometric properties may be sample dependent. Given their ease of calculation and relatively high specificity, our study supports the interpretation of elevated CB-SOS scores indicate those who are likely to fail concurrent PVTs. Specific results are provided below.

These findings are commensurate with the initial CB-SOS validation study (Boress et al., 2021) and to the recent study on CB-SOS with Veterans (Shura et al., in press). However, results are also distinct as they highlight the need for different cut scores to meet the comparable classification rates. Within active-duty personnel, CB-SOS and CBS perform in a largely similar manner (e.g., comparable sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive power); however, CBS has a small amount of incremental, predictive utility suggesting that it may be the front-line scale. However, calculation of the CBS requires access to PAI item responses and is somewhat more cumbersome to acquire. When those are not available, the CB-SOS scales seem to represent good alternatives to assess cognitive symptom over-reporting.

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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