Discriminant validity of subtle and obvious items: The MMPI PA and MA scales

Christine A. Hovanitz, Malcolm D. Gynther, Samuel B. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the hypothesis that a response set accounts for relationships between obvious or subtle statements and criteria by assessing the discriminant validity of two MMPI scales subdivided by raters on the obvious‐subtle dimension. One hundred male college students completed the MMPI and several other questionnaires and performance tests selected to serve as criteria. Results suggest that obvious items do not possess significant discriminant validity, a finding that would be consistent with a response set interpretation. Relationships formed between subtle subscales and criteria did not suggest a response set interpretation, although a straightforward demonstration of discriminant validity was not found. The full scales appear to possess more discriminant validity than their obvious and subtle subscales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-44
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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