Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Gary Burns (Committee Member), David LaHuis (Advisor), Scott Moore (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The validity of individual responses is required for valid inferences drawn from data. Insufficient Effort Responding (IER; Huang, Curran, Keeney, Poposki, & DeShon, 2012) is one possible threat to individual response validity. There are many methods to detect IER, but the Psychometric Synonyms Index, despite its practical utility, is understudied. The purpose of this study is to provide recommendations for its use that are empirically grounded. Using a simulation, I found that the strength of the within-pair correlations used for inclusion into the index, the number of pairs, the type of random responding, the correlation between the pairs, the skewness of the data, and IER severity with an individual case have an impact on the psychometric index and by extension the cut-off one should use for classifying cases as IER or careful. Recommendations for the index depend on the situation.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded