The psychometric properties and utility of the Short Sadistic Impulse Scale (SSIS)

Psychol Assess. 2011 Jun;23(2):523-31. doi: 10.1037/a0022400.


Sadistic personality disorder (SPD) has been underresearched and often misunderstood in forensic settings. Furthermore, personality disorders in general are the subject of much controversy in terms of their classification (i.e., whether they should be categorical or dimensional). The Sadistic Attitudes and Behaviors Scale (SABS; Davies & Hand, 2003; O'Meara, Davies, & Barnes-Holmes, 2004) is a recently developed scale for measuring sadistic inclinations. Derived from this is the Short Sadistic Impulse Scale (SSIS), which has proved to be a strong unidimensional measure of sadistic inclination. Through cumulative scaling, it was investigated whether the SSIS could measure sadism on a continuum of interest, thus providing a dimensional view of the construct. Further, the SSIS was administered along with a number of other measures related to sadism in order to assess the validity of the scale. Results showed that the SSIS has strong construct and discriminant validity and may be useful as a screening measure for sadistic impulse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory* / standards
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sadism / psychology*
  • Young Adult