Prospects for faking believable deficits on neuropsychological testing

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Compared the results of 16 volunteer malingerers (mean age, 24.4 yrs) with those of 16 cooperative, nonlitigating head-trauma patients (mean age, 24.4 yrs) on the WAIS, the Halstead-Reitan Test Battery, and the MMPI. The overall level of ability impairment shown by the malingerers equaled that of the head-injury group, but different patterns of strengths and deficits were produced by the 2 groups on testing. The malingerers also showed more severe personality disturbance on the MMPI. The test protocols were sent to 10 neuropsychologists, who made “blind” judgments as to whether each was probably produced by a malingerer or by a real head-injury patient. Neuropsychologists' diagnostic accuracies ranged from chance-level prediction to about 20% better than chance. Discriminant functions based on the neuropsychological test results and the MMPI, respectively, correctly classified 100 and 94% of Ss in both groups. In another sample of 84 head-injury patients, those who were involved in court actions and/or gave clinical evidence of faking were more likely to be classified as malingerers by the discriminant functions. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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