Analysis of Personality Assessment Inventory

Personality Assessment Inventory (PIA) by Dr. Leslie Morey is a diagnostic tool designed to help psychologists ascertain abnormalities in mental development of test subjects. It is based on the respondents’ individual responses with no pre-determined goal of accessing their unconscious process, which characterizes PIA as an objective measure (Akbari-Zardkhaneh & Tabatabaee, 2019). It is a personality test, since it is structured from items designed to assess one’s personality traits.

The test is large and time-consuming due to 344 entries, which have to be completed by the respondent. The abundance of items ensures the reliability of alternate forms, which are designed to give a comprehensive assessment (Boccaccini et al, 2017). The alternate forms were created by the author of the test at the same point as the test itself. They are used each time the test is accessed in order to verify the results of the evaluation.

PAI was developed in 1991 as a response towards the problem of reinforcement of psychological concepts with statistics. Many medical tests are reliable because of the strictly established criteria, which is not the case with evaluation of psychology. PAI was an attempt to bridge the gap between medical and psychological assessments by using the statistical abundance to add veracity to respondents’ responses. This test became a widely accepted tool among psychologists, making it a natural constituent of the overall scheme.

The text is not divided into sections and subsections because it is aimed at verifying the answer with alternate forms. Overall, the test questions measure the user’s approach towards, including their real intent, such as faking, lying, random picking, or sincere answering. For instance, some questions are formulated differently, but have the same meaning in order to spot insincerity (Gaasedelen et al., 2019). Another aspect under focus is the anxieties and physical state of the respondent. For example, the user is asked how they feel at the particular moment when they are completing the test. The test is used when there is a chance of in-group violence or conflicts.

The main constructs measured by PIA are aggression, suicidal ideation, social isolation, stress, and the desire to reject treatment. Constructs are unidimensional since the analyzed subject matter is straightforward. The analyzed domains range from controllable and accepting behavior to the impulsive and violent decision-making, which can potentially inflict harm on other people (Reidy et al., 2016). There are four variables, which establish how strongly a respondent agrees with the given statements. The theoretical foundation of the test is represented by the idea that content validity provides the most factual information.

The purpose of the test is ascertaining delinquent behavior of the respondents. There are no subscales, as the test evaluates only particular characteristics, such as aggression, stress, dominance, and others. Special testing conditions include familiarity with the test and likelihood of the respondent’s insincere responses (Ruiz, 2016). No scoring keys and dimension scores are available as there are four types of scaling: validity, clinical, treatments consideration, and interpersonal.

The test was designed to assess people older than 18 years. Sampling is done on the basis of availability of respondents. As the test is most likely to be used with delinquents, the standardization is not adequate, as it will diverge from a larger population. Alternate forms ensure that test results are reliable and its evidence is adequate. The test itself is presented in text form, with no images involved. Its completion is streamlined as the respondent has to answer the questions in one of four predetermined statements. Overall, the test results take around an hour to for the program to calculate and analyze. Human input is minimized to interpretation of the computer calculations and ascertaining their adequacy to real mental state of the respondents.


Akbari-Zardkhaneh, S., & Tabatabaee, S. (2019). Psychometric properties of the Persian version of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Journal of Clinical Psychology, 10(4), 69-78. Web.

Boccaccini, M. T., Harris, P. B., Schrantz, K., & Varela, J. G. (2017). Personality Assessment Inventory scores as predictors of evaluation referrals, evaluator opinions, and commitment decisions in sexually violent predator cases. Journal of Personality assessment, 99(5), 472-480. Web.

Gaasedelen, O. J., Whiteside, D. M., Altmaier, E., Welch, C., & Basso, M. R. (2019). The construction and the initial validation of the Cognitive Bias Scale for the Personality Assessment Inventory. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 33(8), 1467-1484. Web.

Reidy, T. J., Sorensen, J. R., & Davidson, M. (2016). Testing the predictive validity of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) in relation to inmate misconduct and violence. Psychological Assessment, 28(8), 871-884. Web.

Ruiz, M. A., Hopwood, C. J., Edens, J. F., Morey, L. C., & Cox, J. (2018). Initial development of pathological personality trait domain measures using the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 9(6), 564-573. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Analysis of Personality Assessment Inventory." September 4, 2023.