Malingering – a special issue of Behavioral Sciences and the Law

The latest issue of Behavioral Sciences and the Law (Sept 2006) is a special on malingering. According to PsychNet-UK (drawing on DSM-IV):

Malingering can be expressed in several forms from pure malingering in which the individual falsifies all symptoms to partial malingering in which the individual has symptoms but exaggerates the impact which they have upon daily functioning. Another form of malingering is simulation in which the person emulates symptoms of a specific disability or dissimulation when the patient denies the existence of problems which would account for the symptoms as in the case of drug abuse. Another form of malingering is false imputation in which the individual has valid symptoms but is dishonest as to the source of the problems […]

There are some interesting papers here: I particularly liked L. Thomas Kucharski and colleagues’ analysis suggesting that, contrary to popular belief, “psychopathy is not a clinically useful indicator of malingering” (p.633). The collection also includes two papers that present broader research on deception: Paul Ekman and Maureen O’Sullivan discussing the the utility of voluntary and involuntary behavior in detecting deception and Angel Crossman and Michael Lewis presenting a study on adults’ ability to detect children’s lying. Ekman and O’Sullivan’s paper is a great overview of the evidence for there being “clear differences in the morphology, timing, symmetry and cohesion between spontaneous (felt) and deliberate (feigned) facial expressions of emotion” (p.683), although they also highlight areas where more research is needed.

Here are the contents. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for free abstracts and access to the full text articles (subscription required, or you can pay per view).

  • Introduction to this issue: malingering – Alan R. Felthous
  • Psychopathy and malingering of psychiatric disorder in criminal defendants – L. Thomas Kucharski, Scott Duncan, Shannon S. Egan, Diana M. Falkenbach
  • Damages and rewards: assessment of malingered disorders in compensation cases – Richard Rogers, Joshua W. Payne
  • Do tests of malingering concur? Concordance among malingering measures – Melanie R. Farkas, Barry Rosenfeld, Reuben Robbins, Wilfred van Gorp
  • From flawed self-assessment to blatant whoppers: the utility of voluntary and involuntary behavior in detecting deception – Paul Ekman, Maureen O’Sullivan
  • Investigating the M-FAST: psychometric properties and utility to detect diagnostic specific malingering – Laura S. Guy, Phylissa P. Kwartner, Holly A. Miller
  • Adults’ ability to detect children’s lying – Angela M. Crossman, Michael Lewis

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