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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Linda Webster

First Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Charles Odipo


This study examined the ability to “fake-good” on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). Each of the 21 participants was administered the AAI and MMPI-2 under both “control” (non-faked) and “experimental” (instructed to fake-good) conditions. The scores received on the L and K validity scales of the MMPI-2 under the control versus the experimental conditions were compared to determine if the instructions that were intended to induce faking good in the experimental condition were successful. Significant differences were found between the experimental and control group on the MMPI-2 L and K scales suggesting that the instructions did induce faking good in the experimental condition. Once established, the scores received on the AAI idealization and coherence of mind scales during the control versus experimental condition were compared to determine if the experimental condition instructional set impacted (1) idealization positively, (2) coherence of mind negatively, and (3) overall attachment classification becoming more dismissing, as hypothesized. Significant differences were found between the experimental and control group on the AAI idealization scale and on the AAI coherence of mind scale. These results suggest that the individuals' idealization scores were significantly lower in the control versus experimental conditions while the individuals' overall coherence of mind scores were significantly higher in the control versus experimental conditions. Of the 12 who were found to be dismissing under the experimental condition, 4 had previously not been classified as dismissing when the standard AAI instructions were given. Even though the results were not indicative of a difference in attachment classification under the control versus experimental conditions, a trend was apparent. It appears that one attempting to fake good may appear more dismissing on the AAI than he/she really is. It is even more critical that this study be replicated using a larger sample size to determine if trying to make oneself look positively will impact overall attachment status.



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