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The TriPM and MMPI-2-RF Tri-Scales: a Direct Construct Validity Comparison


The triarchic psychopathy model has become a popular perspective from which psychopathic personality traits can be understood. Its constructs can be operationalized via multiple methods, including the scales developed for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form item pool (MMPI-2-RF; Ben-Porath, Y. S., & Tellegen, A. (2008)/2011. MMPI-2-RF: Manual for administration, scoring and interpretation. University of Minnesota Press. doi:10.1037/t15121-000). Early research has supported the validity and reliability of the MMPI-2-RF-Tri scales. However, no study has directly compared the concurrent validity of these indices with that of the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM; Patrick, C. J. (2010). Operationalizing the triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy: Preliminary description of brief scales for assessment of boldness, meanness, and disinhibition. Unpublished test manual, Florida State University, Tallahassee). The current study was conducted using a sample of over 1000 university students at a large midwestern university. All participants were administered both the TriPM and the MMPI-2-RF, as well as other concurrent measures relevant to psychopathy. We found that the MMPI-2-RF-Tri scale scores yielded similar correlation patterns to the TriPM scores from the same sample. Most notably, we found that there was a negligible difference amongst the boldness convergent associations across the TriPM and MMPI-2-RF-Tri measures. Implications of these findings and limitations of this study are discussed.

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Correspondence to Anthony M. Tarescavage.

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Conflict of Interest

Regarding conflicts of interest, Anthony Tarescavage, Danielle Burchett, Yossef Ben-Porath, and Martin Sellbom receive research funding from the MMPI-2-RF test publisher, the University of Minnesota Press. Martin Sellbom and Yossef Ben-Porath are paid consultants to the MMPI-2-RF publisher, the University of Minnesota Press, and distributor, Pearson Assessments. Yossef Ben-Porath also receives royalties on sales of MMPI-2-RF materials.

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This study was approved by the Kent State University Institutional Review Board.

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Kasula, K., Tarescavage, A.M., Ben-Porath, Y. et al. The TriPM and MMPI-2-RF Tri-Scales: a Direct Construct Validity Comparison. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 42, 666–676 (2020).

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  • TriPM
  • MMPI-2-RF
  • MMPI-2-RF tri-scales
  • Psychopathy