Distinguishing Simulated From Genuine Dissociative Identity Disorder on the MMPI-2

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Abstract

Due to high elevations on validity and clinical scales on personality and forensic measures, it is challenging to determine if individuals presenting with symptoms of dissociative identity disorder (DID) are genuine or not. Little research has focused on malingering DID, or on the broader issue of the profiles these patients obtain on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), despite increasing awareness of dissociation. This study sought to characterize the MMPI-2 profiles of DID patients and to determine the utility of the MMPI-2 in distinguishing DID patients from uncoached and coached DID simulators. The analyses revealed that Infrequency, Back Infrequency, and Infrequency-Psychopathology (Fp) distinguished simulators from genuine DID patients. Fp was best able to discriminate simulated DID. Utility statistics and classification functions are provided for classifying individual profiles as indicative of genuine or simulated DID. Despite exposure to information about DID, the simulators were not able to accurately feign DID, which is inconsistent with the iatrogenic/sociocultural model of DID. Given that dissociation was strongly associated with elevations in validity, as well as clinical scales, including Scale 8 (i.e., Schizophrenia), considerable caution should be used in interpreting validity scales as indicative of feigning, and Scale 8 as indicative of schizophrenia, among highly dissociative individuals.

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