The inverse relation between psychopathy and faking good: not response bias, but true variance in psychopathic personality
Bruno Verschuere, Katarzyna Uzieblo, Maarten De Schryver, Hester Douma, Thomas Onraedt & Geert Crombez
The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
September 9, 2014
The possibility to assess psychopathy through self-report is debated, amongst others, because psychopathic individuals may deliberately underreport psychopathic features (fake good). Meta-analytic research has shown an inverse relation between faking good and self-reported psychopathy, possibly indicating that faking good lowered psychopathy scores (response bias). Low faking good scores, could, however, also reflect true variance in psychopathic personality to the extent that it reflects a disregard of social conventions. Through a secondary analysis (n = 675), we show that controlling for faking good significantly weakens, rather than strengthens, the associations between psychopathy scores and antisocial behavior (alcohol and drug abuse, indirect aggression, and delinquency). These findings indicate that the inverse relation between faking good and self-reported psychopathy reflects true variance in psychopathy personality (i.e. low social desirability), not a response bias.