Law and Human Behavior

, 33:497

The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles and Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version as Incrementally Valid Predictors of Recidivism

Original Article


A follow-up of 107 male federal prison inmates previously tested with the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) and Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV) was conducted to test the incremental validity of both measures. The PICTS General Criminal Thinking (GCT) score was found to predict general recidivism and serious recidivism when age, prior charges, and the PCL:SV were controlled. The PCL:SV, on the other hand, failed to predict general and serious recidivism when age, prior charges, and the PICTS were controlled. These findings support the hypothesis that content-relevant self-report measures like the PICTS are capable of predicting crime-relevant outcomes above and beyond the contributions of basic demographic variables like age, criminal history, and such popular non-self-report rating procedures as the PCL:SV.


PICTS PCL:SV Recidivism prediction Prison inmates 


  1. Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. L. (1995). The Level of Service Inventory-Revised. Toronto, Canada: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. L. (2003). Psychology of criminal conduct. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, D. A., & Wormith, J. S. (1984). The Criminal Sentiments Scale. Ottawa, Canada: Ministry of Correctional Services of Canada.Google Scholar
  4. Belfrage, H., Fransson, G., & Strand, S. (2000). Prediction of violence using the HCR-20: A prospective study in two maximum-security correctional institutions. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 11, 167–175. doi:10.1080/095851800362445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blair, P. R., Marcus, D. K., & Boccaccini, M. T. (2008). Is there an allegiance effect for assessment instruments? Actuarial risk assessment as an exemplar. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 15, 346–360.Google Scholar
  6. Butcher, J. N., Graham, J. R., Ben-Porath, Y. S., Tellegen, A., Dahlstrom, W. G., & Kaemmer, B. (2001). Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2: Manual for administration and scoring (Rev. ed. ed.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cooke, D. J., & Michie, C. (2001). Refining the construct of psychopathy: Towards a hierarchical model. Psychological Assessment, 13, 171–188. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.13.2.171.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Douglas, K. S., Vincent, G. M., & Edens, J. F. (2006). Risk for criminal recidivism: The role of psychopathy. In C. J. Patrick (Ed.), Handbook of psychopathy (pp. 533–554). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  9. Douglas, K. S., Yeomans, M., & Boer, D. P. (2005). Comparative validity analysis of multiple measures of violence risk in a sample of criminal offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32, 479–510. doi:10.1177/0093854805278411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guy, L. S., & Douglas, K. S. (2006). Examining the utility of the PCL:SV as a screening measure using competing factor models of psychopathy. Psychological Assessment, 18, 225–230. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.18.2.225.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hare, R. D. (2003). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R). Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  12. Hare, R. D., & Neumann, C. S. (2006). The PCL-R assessment of psychopathy: Development, structural properties, and new directions. In C. J. Patrick (Ed.), Handbook of psychopathy (pp. 58–88). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  13. Hart, S. D., Cox, D. N., & Hare, R. D. (1995). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV). Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  14. Healy, D., & O’Donnell, I. O. (2006). Criminal thinking on probation: A perspective from Ireland. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 33, 782–802. doi:10.1177/0093854806288066.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hill, C., Rogers, R., & Bickford, M. (1996). Predicting aggressive and socially disruptive behavior in a maximum security hospital. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 41, 56–59.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Hsieh, F. Y., & Lavori, P. W. (2000). Sample-size calculations for the Cox proportional hazards regression model with nonbinary covariances. Controlled Clinical Trials, 21, 552–560. doi:10.1016/S0197-2456(00)00104-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Loza, W., Dhaliwal, G. K., Kroner, D. G., & Loza-Fanous, A. (2000). Reliability and concurrent validity of the Self-Appraisal Questionnaire (SAQ): A tool for assessing violent and non-violent recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27, 356–374. doi:10.1177/0093854800027003005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mann, C. R. (1993). Unequal justice: A question of color. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Palmer, E., & Hollin, C. (2004). Predicting reconviction using the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles with English prisoners. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 9, 57–68. doi:10.1348/135532504322776852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Quinsey, V. L., Harris, G. T., Rice, M. E., & Cormier, C. (1998). Violent offenders: Appraising and managing risk. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rogers, R., Salekin, R. T., Hill, C., Sewell, K. W., Murdock, M. E., & Neumann, C. S. (2000). The Psychopathy Checklist–Screening Version: An examination of criteria and subcriteria in three forensic samples. Assessment, 1, 1–15. doi:10.1177/107319110000700101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosenthal, R. (1994). Parametric measures of effect size. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 231–244). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  23. Skeem, J., & Mulvey, E. P. (2001). Psychopathy and community violence among civil psychiatric patients: Results from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 358–374. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.69.3.358.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Staines, G. L., & Cleland, C. M. (2007). Bias in meta-analytic estimates of the absolute efficacy of psychotherapy. Review of General Psychology, 11, 329–347. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.11.4.329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Walters, G. D. (1990). The criminal lifestyle: Patterns of serious criminal conduct. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Walters, G. D. (1995). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Part I. Reliability and preliminary validity. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 22, 307–325. doi:10.1177/0093854895022003008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Walters, G. D. (1996). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Part III. Predictive validity. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 40, 105–112. doi:10.1177/0306624X96402003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Walters, G. D. (1997). Predicting short-term release outcome using the LCSF and PICTS. Journal of Mental Health in Corrections Consortium, 43(3&4), 18–25.Google Scholar
  29. Walters, G. D. (2005a). Incremental validity of the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles as a predictor of continuous and dichotomous measures of recidivism. Assessment, 12, 19–27. doi:10.1177/1073191104270662.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Walters, G. D. (2005b). Predicting institutional adjustment with the Lifestyle Criminality Screening Form and Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 4, 63–70.Google Scholar
  31. Walters, G. D. (2006). Risk-appraisal versus self-report in the prediction of criminal justice outcomes: A meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 33, 279–304. doi:10.1177/0093854805284409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Walters, G. D. (in press). Effect of a longer versus shorter test-release interval on recidivism prediction with the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS). International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.Google Scholar
  33. Walters, G. D., & Elliott, W. N. (1999). Predicting release and disciplinary outcome with the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Female data. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 4, 15–21. doi:10.1348/135532599167743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Walters, G. D., Knight, R. A., Grann, M., & Dahle, K. -P. (2008). Incremental validity of the Psychopathy Checklist facet scores: Predicting release outcome in six samples. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117, 396–405. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.117.2.396.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Walters, G. D., & Mandell, W. (2007). Incremental validity of the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles and Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version in predicting disciplinary outcome. Law and Human Behavior, 31, 141–157. doi:10.1007/s10979-006-9051-y.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Walters, G. D., & Schlauch, C. (2008). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles and Level of Service Inventory-Revised: Screening Version as predictors of official and self-reported disciplinary infractions. Law and Human Behavior, 32, 454–462. doi:10.1007/s10979-007-9117-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Walters, G. D., White, T. W., & Denney, D. (1991). The Lifestyle Criminality Screening Form: Preliminary data. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 18, 406–418. doi:10.1177/0093854891018004003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Webster, C. D., Douglas, K. S., Eaves, D., & Hart, S. D. (1997). HCR-20: Assessing risk for violence (Version 2). Burnaby, BC, Canada: Mental Health, Law, and Policy Institute, Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
  39. Wilson, D. B., Gallagher, C. A., & Mackenzie, D. L. (2000). A meta-analysis of corrections-based education, vocation, and work programs for adult offenders. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 37, 347–368. doi:10.1177/0022427800037004001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology Services, Federal Correctional InstitutionSchuylkill, MinersvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations