Wisconsin Personality Disorders Inventory: WISPI-IV

Marjorie H. Klein
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Lorna S. Benjamin
University of Utah

Tracey L. Smith
Baylor College of Medicine

The Wisconsin Personality Disorders Inventory (WISPI-IV) is the most recent version of the original WISPI-III and WISPI-III-R inventories (Klein, et al, 1993). It is a self-report inventory that conforms to the DSM-IV and DSM-5 versions of the Axis-II personality disorders (APA, 1994 and 2013) but most of the items have remained constant across the three generations of this measure. It is especially notable that the definitions of the personality disorders as categories were retained in the DSM-5 and the WISPI yields categorical scores. However the content of the WISPI-IV reflects the interpersonal theory and approach to the personality disorders as put forth in Benjamin (1996) and also yields dimensional scores. As with the earlier versions of the WISPI, our aim was to keep the item content consistent with the DSM-IV while also insuring that it is true to the underlying interpersonal formulations. It is available in English or in a bilingual Spanish or English version.

The WISPI-IV contains 214 items which are rated by the subject on a 10-point scale from (1- never or not at all true to 10- always or extremely true). Primary scoring options include means, ipsatized, and normative scores for each of the 11 personality disorder dimensions and a ‘best-guess” categorical diagnosis, based on a combination of DSM-IV and Benjamin’s (1996) necessary and exclusionary criteria. In addition, the responses are scored for the Cluster version of Benjamin’s Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) model.

The WISPI is also based on Benjamin’s interpersonal conceptions of the personality disorders. When we examined its factor structure in a sample of 1443 psychiatric patients and controls we identified nine factors. The first factor, “Insecurity and Fearful Withdrawal” contained items from eight PD scales. Of the other eight factors, seven were dominated by items from seven different PD scales; specifically – antisocial, histrionic, schizotypal, borderline, schizoid, dependent, and compulsive scales. Analysis of items within these factors identified salient features of these disorders (for example, the antisocial items in Factor 2 reflected “Hostile Control” of others). The remaining factor contained items reflecting “Superiority and Control” from compulsive, narcissistic, and paranoid scales.

Alphas for the eleven personality disorders covered by the WISPI-IV ranged from .81 to .95 in a mixed sample of student volunteers and psychiatric outpatients. These values are similar to those reported for the earlier DSM-III and III-R versions (Klein, et al., 1996; Barber and Morse, 1994). Studies of the DSM III and III-R versions of the WISPI have established content, concurrent, and discriminant validity (Barber & Morse, 1994; Klein et al., 1993), and a study of the DSM-IV version also yielded comparable results (Smith, Klein, & Benjamin, 2003).

Software that is compatible with Windows versions XP, 7 or 8 for administering the WISPI to a patient or entering data from a paper-and-pencil form, and scoring the inventory, is available for a fee of $25 (US). Scoring options are illustrated in the following set of sample reports. Please use the Licensing form below to submit your order.

Also, you may email if you have any questions. mhklein@wisc.edu

Dr. Marjorie H. Klein
Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute and Clinics
6001 Research Park Boulevard
Madison, WI 53719-1176