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Forensic Psychology: Personality Assessment Inventory

Personality Assessment Inventory

Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) is an appraisal tool that form part of Leslie Morey’s work. It comprises 344 self-report items that are aimed at testing and appraising an individual’s personality (Morey, 2007). It also examines a respondent’s psychopathology. Every item of the scale involves the respondent’s declaration, which is rated using a four-point scale that is calibrated as ‘not correct at all’, ‘faintly correct’, ‘primarily correct’, and ‘extremely correct’ (Rogers, 2003). The appraisal finds application in forensic psychology, psychotherapy, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) evaluation, and in employee selection. PAI is subdivided into interpersonal, medical, legitimacy, and treatment deliberation scales.

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PAI can be used in cases that involve misdemeanors, which can be attributed to disruptive behaviors. It assesses key aspects of clinical management such as antagonism and suicidal ideation. However, Rogers (2003) confirms how multi-scale inventories, including PAI, achieve various purposes. However, this claim does not imply that they do extremely well in highly specialized tasks. Therefore, forensic professionals need to consider whether PAI can pass the Daubert standard before it can be deployed in any case. This standard poses limitations when experts want to establish data in a scientific manner. The ruling in the case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals establishes what PAI should broadly assess for its applicability in forensic cases in courts. For the expert testimony to be acceptable based on scientific data that is collected through PAI or any other multi-scale inventory, conclusions that are derived from a test need to have a known error rate (Douglas, Guy, Edens, Boer, & Hamilton, 2007). They should also be empirically testable.

PAI is suitable and inappropriate in some populations. It is required in the evaluation of management success, which involves a rejection of treatment, poor social support, and perceived stressors. Based on the standards that were set up in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals case, PAI is currently appropriate in forensic cases, especially in populations where moderate evidence has been established. The evaluation approach is not appropriate in populations where respondents’ trans-personal occurrences have to be considered. People who have strong spiritual dimensions may be unduly depicted as mistrustful and psychotic.

Ethics

Contemporary moral principles initiate with the work of Hobbes and end with Nietzche’s work (History of Modern Ethics, 2007). Two central historical occurrences that have influenced contemporary ethics in research include San Antonio’s contraception study of 1971 and the Public Health Service Syphilis Study that was conducted in 1932-1971. The first study used several Mexican-American women. The objective of the research was to establish the implications of orally administered contraceptives. The study design was such that half of the subjects received oral contraceptives while the rest received a placebo. Participants who received the placebo were then given oral contraceptives in the second phase of the study. While on placebo, ten women became pregnant. The second study enrolled two classes of men. The first class had syphilis while the second one acted as the control test that comprised men who did not have syphilis. This information was gathered without an informed consent. The participants were also denied information on some of the procedures, including the introduction of spinal taps.

The first study influences ethics today. It ignored ethical conducts such as the right to informed consent, protection of highly vulnerable research subjects, and the invalidation of research where the risk that the subjects are exposed to supersedes the research benefits. The second study influences today’s ethics because it reveals principles such as informed consent. It also reveals malpractices such as withholding treatment, deception, and exposing vulnerable groups to risk, particularly where they do not gain by participating in the research.

Reference

Douglas, K., Guy, L., Edens, J., Boer, D., & Hamilton, J. (2007). The personality assessment inventory as a proxy for psychopathy checklist revised: testing the incremental validity and cross-sample robustness of the antisocial feature scale. Assessment, 14(3), 255-269.

History of Modern Ethics. (2007). History of Modern Ethics. Web.

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Morey, L. (2007). The Personality Assessment Inventory professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Rogers, R. (2003). Forensic Use and Abuse of Psychological Tests: Multi-Scale Inventories. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 9(4), 316-320.

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