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Detecting the Malingering of Psychosis in Offenders: No Easy Solutions

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1995) Pages: 3-18
P K Fauteck
Date Published
16 pages
The feigning of a mental illness is particularly likely to occur in criminal forensic contexts, especially when offenders are suspected of malingering psychosis.
In these situations, it is usually the malingering of a schizophrenia-like illness that poses the greatest challenge to evaluators, partially because inconsistent behavior is one characteristic of such disorders. There is disagreement among experts as to whether projective tests are superior or inferior to objective measures in the detection of malingering. Objective tests offer the advantage of less ambiguous results, demanding fewer judgment calls by the examiner. However, self-report measures which comprise the majority of objective tests, are particularly susceptible to faking and response set. Forced choices of Rorschach responses, human figures, and word associations all discriminated between experimental malingerers and diagnosed schizophrenics in an offender population. 86 references