Distinguishing between neuropsychological malingering and exaggerated psychiatric symptoms in a neuropsychological setting

Anthony C Ruocco, Thomas Swirsky-Sacchetti, Douglas L Chute, Steven Mandel, Steven M Platek, Eric A Zillmer
Clinical Neuropsychologist 2008, 22 (3): 547-64
It is unclear whether symptom validity test (SVT) failure in neuropsychological and psychiatric domains overlaps. Records of 105 patients referred for neuropsychological evaluation, who completed the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Reliable Digit Span (RDS), and Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III), were examined. TOMM and RDS scores were uncorrelated with MCMI-III symptom validity indices and factor analysis revealed two distinct factors for neuropsychological and psychiatric SVTs. Only 3.5% of the sample failed SVTs in both domains, 22.6% solely failed the neuropsychological SVT, and 6.1% solely failed the psychiatric SVT. The results support a dissociation between neuropsychological malingering and exaggeration of psychiatric symptoms in a neuropsychological setting.

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