Comparison of Malingering Measures, Suggestion, and Litigation Status among Personal Injury Litigants
Burris Garner, Elizabeth A.
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Forensic psychologists are often asked to determine whether evaluees are providing truthful responses regarding level of impairment. Specialized measures of malingering have been developed to assist with this determination. Although malingering is prevalent, little research has examined the effects of participation in litigation and of attorney suggestion to malinger on feigning, the degree of overlap between malingering detection measures, especially those examining cognitive deficits and psychiatric symptoms, and the effectiveness of commonly utilized malingering measures with evaluees exhibiting symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The present study used multiple measures of malingering, which assessed both cognitive and psychiatric symptom feigning, to examine effectiveness of malingering detection with evaluees with PTSD symptoms. Results indicate that measures differ in their ability to detect malingering given the presence of litigation or suggestion and may differ depending upon evaluee symptom presentation. Results suggest that forensic evaluators should carefully choose malingering detection measures based upon the referral question and circumstances surrounding the evaluation.