Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Tony R. Young


Objectively scored measures of psychopathology are increasingly relied upon to aid in the diagnosis of mental disorders and treatment planning, and three commonly used measures are the MMPI-2, MCMI-III, and PAI. A difficulty with such measures, however, is that response sets are subject to both intentional and unintentional distortion by examinees. Underreporting of psychopathology and attempts to present oneself in an overly favorable light can be particularly difficult to detect. Therefore, scales and other indices have been developed to identify underreporting and defensiveness. Paulhus (2002) has developed and refined a model for this phenomenon of underreporting, which he calls Socially Desirable Responding (SDR).

The intercorrelations of the major underreporting indicators of the three instruments were evaluated, extending prior work that examined the concurrent validity of pairs of the measures by examining all three at once and using a different sample. Correlations between scales obtained in this study were found to be overwhelmingly similar to correlations reported in previous studies. The factor structure of the underreporting indices of the MMPI-2, MCMI-III, and PAI was examined in light of Paulhus's SDR model. The ability of the major SDR scales to correctly differentiate patients referred for either evaluation or treatment in a substance abuse treatment setting was examined. The strongest predictors of group membership proved to be S from the MMPI-2, Compulsiveness from the MCMI-III, and K from the MMPI-2, respectively.