Relationship between suboptimal cognitive effort and the clinical scales of the Personality Assessment Inventory

Douglas Whiteside, Courtney Clinton, Christina Diamonti, Julie Stroemel, Claire White, Anya Zimberoff, Dana Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Little research has examined the relationship between the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and cognitive effort. The current study extends the research on personality assessment and suboptimal cognitive effort by evaluating the relationship between the PAI clinical scales and the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) in a neuropsychological population. Utilizing corrections for multiple comparisons, rank-order correlations with the TOMM Trial 2 (T2) and the PAI clinical scales indicated a significant relationship with the SOM (rho = -.26, p<.001), with additional scales (SCZ, ANX, and DEP) trending toward significance. Analysis of SOM subscales indicated a significant relationship between SOM-C and T2 as well. To further explore the relationship between SOM and the TOMM, ANOVA results indicated that individuals scoring within normal limits on the SOM had higher mean TOMM scores than those with extremely elevated SOM. Additional analyses indicated that utilizing the cut-off for extreme responding on the SOM scale (T>87) had adequate sensitivity (93%) and specificity (76%) in predicting TOMM performance, with a positive predictive power of 54% and a negative predictive power of 97%, resulting in a 91% correct classification rate. Thus, the evidence suggests that extreme scores on SOM should prompt careful evaluation for suboptimal cognitive effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive effort
  • Personality Assessment Inventory
  • Test of Memory Malingering


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between suboptimal cognitive effort and the clinical scales of the Personality Assessment Inventory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this