Some Caveats in Using the Rey 15-Item Memory Test to Detect Malingered Amnesia

David Schretlen, Jason Brandt, Laura Krafft, Wilfred Van Gorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


A procedure devised to detect malingered amnesia has received increasing attention as a useful clinical method to identify exaggerated claims of memory impairment. However, none of the published studies regarding its utility has included subjects faking amnesia or genuine amnesics. In this study, we administered the Rey 15-Item Memory Test to 76 subjects faking various mental disorders, 148 patients with amnesia, dementia, severe mental illness, or another neuropsychiatric disorder, and 80 normal control subjects. Performance was found to correlate highly with IQ r = .55 and Mini-Mental State Examination scores r = .81. Fewer than 15% of subjects faking mental disorders were identified by this procedure, and 27% of patients scored in the "malingering" range. Problems with the uncritical application of cutoff scores to detect malingering with this procedure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-672
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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