The detection of content-based invalid responding: a meta-analysis of the MMPI-2-Restructured Form’s (MMPI-2-RF) over-reporting validity scales

Paul B. Ingram, Michael S. Ternes

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Abstract: Objective: This study synthesized research evaluation of the effectiveness of the over-reporting validity scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) for detecting intentionally feigned over-endorsements of symptoms using a moderated meta-analysis. Method: After identifying experimental and quasi-experimental studies for inclusion (k = 25) in which the validity scales of the MMPI-2-RF were compared between groups of respondents, moderated meta-analyses were conducted for each of its five over-reporting scales. These meta-analyses explored the general effectiveness of each scale across studies, as well as the impact that several moderators had on scale performance, including comparison group, study type (i.e. real versus simulation), age, education, sex, and diagnosis. Results: The over-reporting scales of the MMPI-2-RF act as effective general measures for the detection of malingering and over endorsement of symptoms with individual scales ranging in effectiveness from an effect size of 1.08 (Symptom Validity; FBS-r) to 1.43 (Infrequent Pathology; Fp-r), each with different patterns of moderating influence. Conclusions: The MMPI-2-RF validity scales effectively discriminate between groups of respondents presenting in either an honest manner or with patterned exaggeration and over-endorsement of symptoms. The magnitude of difference observed between honest and malingering groups was substantially narrower than might be expected using traditional cut-scores for the validity scales, making interpretation within the evaluation context particularly important. While all over-reporting scales are effective, the FBS-r and RBS scales are those least influenced by common and context specific moderating influences, such as respondent or comparison grouping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-496
Number of pages24
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 18 2016


  • MMPI-2-RF
  • Meta-analysis
  • malingering
  • over-reporting
  • validity scales


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