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PAI – Personality inventory 

Leslie C. Morey, Ph.D. / French translation and adaptation: Christiane Routhier, Ph.D. 
Collaboration of Manon Houle, Ph.D., and Marie Chabot, Ph.D., in the revision of the French translation. 
Copyright 1990,1991: Psychological Assessment Resources. Copyright 2014: Psychological Research Institute.


Measure personality








50 - 60 mins


Psycho-legal expertise

Psychological assessment

Staff selection


On the digital platform

An objective inventory of adult personality, the PAI assesses psychopathological syndromes and provides information relevant for clinical diagnosis, treatment planning, and screening for psychopathology. Administration time is up to 40 minutes shorter than that for similar instruments.

Features and benefits 

  1. Unique, efficient scale structure. All 22 scales are nonoverlapping, promoting high discriminant validity. Scale development was content-driven.

  2. Fast, cost-effective administration. Clients generally complete the 344 items in less than an hour. Scales and subscales can be hand-scored in only 15-20 minutes.

  3. Can be used with low-reading level populations. The PAI requires only a fourth-grade reading level; an audio administration CD is also available.

  4. No scoring keys needed. A two-part carbonless Answer Sheet provides scores for all 344 items.

  5. Provides strategies for interpretation. The Professional Manual includes an expanded discussion of administration considerations and a variety of strategies for the interpretation of clinical data.

  6. Portable materials. The PAI Administration Folio provides a hard surface for both the Item Booklet and Answer Sheet for situations in which no desk or tabletop is available.

Clinical scales  provide critical diagnostic capabilities of 11 important clinical constructs. 


These 11 scales can be divided into three main categories of disorders: those belonging to the neurotic spectrum, those belonging to the psychotic spectrum, and those associated with behavioral disorders or problems with impulse control.


The salary scales  indicate potential complications in treatment.


These five scales are two indicators of risk of harm to self or others, two measures of the respondent's environmental conditions, and one indicator of the respondent's motivation for treatment. 

Interpersonal scales provide valuable information regarding customer relationships and interactions. Interpersonal style is assessed along two dimensions: warm affiliation versus cold rejecting style, and dominant/controlling style versus docile/submissive style. 


Two scales assess pathology. The Borderline Personality Scale is the only PAI scale that has four subscales, reflecting the factorial complexity of the construct.

The Antisocial Characteristics Scale  includes three subscales: one assessing antisocial behaviors and the other two assessing antisocial traits. 

Critical items inform us about aspects or problems of the subject that require immediate attention. They consist of 27 items, divided into nine content areas, which suggest that the behavior or psychopathology may require immediate attention. They are identified as critical based on two criteria: indications of a potential crisis situation and a very low adoption rate among normal individuals. 

Technical information 

  • Reliability and validity are based on data from a U.S. Census-matched normative sample of 1,000 community-dwelling adults, a sample of 1,265 patients from 69 clinical sites, and a college sample of 1,051 students.

  • Because the PAI was normed on adults in a variety of clinical and community settings, profiles can be compared with both normal and clinical populations.

  •  Reliability studies indicate that the PAI has a high degree of internal consistency across samples—results are stable over periods of 2-4 weeks (median alpha and test-retest correlations exceed .80 for the 22 scales). 

  • Validity studies demonstrate convergent and discriminant validity with more than 50 other measures of psychopathology.

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