Factors differentiating successful versus unsuccessful malingerers

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Anxiety Disorders; Diagnosis, Differential; Female; Humans; Male; Malingering; Mental Disorders; Mood Disorders; Personality Inventory; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Psychotic Disorders


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


Relatively little is known about the processes in which "successful" malingerers engage to avoid detection. This study summarizes the response strategies used by participants (N = 540) instructed to feign a specific mental disorder while completing various self-report instruments designed to detect faking. Postexperiment questionnaires indicated that those who were able to appear symptomatic while avoiding being detected as feigning (n = 60) were more likely to endorse a lower rate of legitimate symptoms, to avoid overly unusual or bizarre items, and to base their responses on their own personal experiences.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: J Pers Assess. 2001 Oct;77(2):333-8. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID