Investigating the M-FAST: psychometric properties and utility to detect diagnostic specific malingering

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures; Female; Humans; Male; Malingering; Mental Disorders; Patient Simulation; *Psychometrics; Southwestern United States


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


This study examined the ability of the M-FAST to differentiate a group of undergraduate students simulating one of four DSM-IV diagnoses (n = 190; schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder) and a clinical comparison sample drawn from previous M-FAST studies comprising individuals with the same diagnosis (n = 142). Across all diagnostic conditions, the simulators obtained higher M-FAST total scores than the clinical comparisons, and the rare combinations scale was equal or superior to the total score at differentiating the groups. The M-FAST was most efficient at distinguishing feigned from bona fide schizophrenia. Although the internal consistency of the total score was high (alpha = 0.88), inter-item correlations were lower than values reported in previous research. Lastly, given the importance of base rate considerations in the evaluation of diagnostic instruments, it was notable that the M-FAST was able to identify malingerers even at relatively low base rates.

DOI of Published Version



Behav Sci Law. 2006;24(5):687-702. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioral sciences and the law

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID