Formulation of a measurement model for the boldness construct of psychopathy

Psychol Assess. 2019 May;31(5):643-659. doi: 10.1037/pas0000690. Epub 2019 Feb 7.


We describe efforts to formulate a quantitative measurement model for boldness, a construct that has been intensively discussed and investigated in the psychopathy literature in recent years. Although the Fearless Dominance factor of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI-FD) has served as a major referent for studying this dispositional construct, boldness was not explicitly targeted in developing the PPI, creating the need for a formal measurement model for this construct. Using an exploratory approach to test construction and multiple waves of data collection and analysis involving 1,791 participants, we created nine unidimensional scales (comprising a total of 130 items) for assessing correlated but thematically distinct facets of boldness, and characterized their higher-order structure. Overall scores on this new Boldness Inventory correlated highly with PPI-FD (positively) and dispositional fear (negatively), and negligibly with disinhibitory proclivities, in validation samples consisting of undergraduates (N = 767) and male prisoners (N = 326). The structural model of this new inventory, encompassing a general factor on which all facet scales loaded and two subordinate factors defined by residual variances of certain scales, effectively accommodated the constituent scales of PPI-FD. The model development work reported here establishes a valuable foundation for further, more fine-grained investigation of boldness as it relates to psychopathy and other clinical conditions as well as to adaptive functioning and performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Personality Inventory / standards*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Young Adult