Faking psychopathy? An examination of response styles with antisocial youth

Richard Rogers, Michael J. Vitacco, Rebecca L. Jackson, Mary Martin, Michelle Collins, Kenneth W. Sewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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