Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Greg Dear

Abstract

Research surrounding the ability of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI; Millon, 1977, 198 7, 1994) to detect faking good was reviewed; along with the effect faking has on diagnostic accuracy. Limited research indicates moderate success of the MCMI validity indices (VI) at detecting faking good. Suggested improvements include developing a fake-good profile combining the personality scales and VI and developing new base rate adjustments with populations likely to fake good. Faking good reduces the overall diagnostic accuracy of the test but determining local base rates of faking to produce optimal cut-offs for the VI would improve diagnostic utility. Future research and development is crucial for psychologists using the MCMI with populations highly motivated to fake good. Individuals administered the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) while undergoing a custody evaluation tend to display elevations on scales Y (Desirability), 4 (Histrionic), 5 (Narcissistic) and 7 (Compulsive). This study examined how faking-good impacts on scale scores. Participants (n=138) were instructed to look like a good parent (fake-good) or answer honestly. The fake-good group obtained clinical elevations on Y, 4, 5, and 7 and low scores on other scales, which is strikingly similar to custody litigants, suggesting a fake-good profile. Analysis revealed elevations (275) on scales Y and 7 might be useful to identify faking over scale Y alone. Further structural issues with the MCMI-III make this profile difficult to interpret. Future research should develop methods for clarifying the ambiguous profile observed in custody evaluations.

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