The use of psychological tests to identify malingered symptoms of mental disorder

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The differentiation between malingered and genuine mental disorders presents difficult problems to various medical and legal settings. This review describes the research designs that have characterized empirical studies of faking on psychological tests. Specific detection strategies for intelligence tests and three personality tests (Rorschach, MMPI, and Bender-Gestalt) are described. Where possible, the accuracy with which each test can detect three, frequently malingered conditions (mental deficiency, psychosis, and neurologic impairment) is described. The majority of studies show that psychological tests can accurately detect faking. Test batteries yield more accurate predictions than single tests, and simulated mental deficiency appears to be the most easily detected condition. The findings suggest that, until research validates use of the diagnostic interview for this purpose, it is probably indefensible to render expert testimony regarding the likelihood of malingering without psychological test data bearing on this question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-476
Number of pages26
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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