Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Nicholas Holtzman

Committee Member 1

Amy Hackney

Committee Member 2

Chad Posick


This research investigated the relationship between self-report psychopathy and social desirability and whether insufficient effort responding may impact this relationship. It was hypothesized that insufficient effort responding is biasing the relationship. Therefore, the significant negative relationship between psychopathy and social desirability may approach zero after isolating insufficient effort responding data. Two studies were conducted to aid this investigation. The first study utilized the Monte Carlo method to simulate this relationship. The simulation had 1,000 trials using 1,000 participants with proportions of valid respondents ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 with increments of 0.1. The results showed that insufficient effort responding may be biasing this relationship between psychopathy and social desirability, so an investigation among human participants was warranted. The second study examined this relationship among human participants using a community sample. The sample included 300 participants, and each participant was asked to take the Self-report Psychopathy scale and the PRF Desirability subscale. Insufficient effort responding was isolated using response time, odd-even consistency, long-string analysis, and Mahalanobis distance. The results showed that after isolating insufficient effort responding data, the relationship between psychopathy and social desirability became non-significant but not for the reasons predicted. The insufficient effort responding data did not surround the midpoint as expected; rather, the valid data surrounded the midpoint. Additionally, the TOST procedure was done to test for statistical equivalence and found this relationship may be significant. Even though the simulation showed the possibility of a biased relationship, the results of study 2 produced a contradicting conclusion.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material