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Development of the Supernormality Scale-Revised and Its Relationship with Psychopathy

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The current research addresses the psychometric and diagnostic qualities of the Supernormality Scale-Revised (SS-R), a self-report measurement. Supernormality is defined as the tendency to systematically deny the presence of common symptoms (e.g., intrusive thoughts). In study 1, the SS-R was administered to forensic patients (n = 63), psychiatric patients (n = 26), honestly responding students (n = 26), and students instructed to fake supernormality (n = 20). Findings indicated good test–retest stability, and adequate internal consistency. Furthermore, the SS-R showed overall good predictive and convergent validity. Moreover, the diagnostic accuracy was excellent (sensitivity and specificity being 0.80 and 0.92, respectively). In study 2, 115 (healthy) controls and 32 forensic patients completed the SS-R and the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) (J Pers Assess 1996;66:488), an instrument measuring psychopathy. Results showed again that the SS-R is a reliable and valid instrument. However, supernormality was not related to psychopathy as measured by the PPI.
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Keywords: forensic science; psychopathy; supernormality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. 2: Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Rhine Clinics, Meckerstrasse 15, 52353, Düren, Germany.

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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