Ashley Peck successfully proposed her thesis, "Handcuff restraint influence on state anxiety and Personality Assessment Inventory responding." Thank you Drs. Cox and Gardner for the awesome feedback.
Abstract: Standardized test administration is key to a test’s validity, but is sometimes thwarted in correctional environments when policy or staff require that examinees wear restraints. Restraints such as handcuffs may impact participants’ state anxiety, stress, frustration, and profile validity, thereby confounding “state” and “trait” anxiety and construct validity. Participants in this study will be randomized to handcuffed or unhandcuffed conditions and administered the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). State anxiety will be measured subjectively via the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and objectively using heart rate variability (HRV). I hypothesize that individuals who are handcuffed while completing the PAI will report higher subjective state anxiety and show decreased HRV (an objective indicator of higher state anxiety) than individuals who are not handcuffed while completing the measure. In addition, I expect to find that handcuffed individuals will produce more invalid PAI protocols than unhandcuffed individuals due to elevated INF, INC, and NIM scale scores and significantly higher PAI scores associated with anxiety, stress, and irritability. PAI scores will be partially explained by handcuff/unhandcuffed conditions and subjective and objective measures of state anxiety in regression analyses. Findings will inform “real world” forensic practice, when standardized test administration is not always the norm.