Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Malingerer Pyschological Test Used and Challenged in Personal-Injury Cases

Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Malingerer Test Roils Personal-Injury Law: 'Fake Bad Scale' Bars Real Victims, Its Critics Contend, by David Armstrong.  Here's an excerpt:

A test designed to expose fakers is roiling the field of personal-injury law, distressing plaintiffs and strengthening the hand of employers and insurers.

Proponents hail the true-or-false test as a valid way to identify people feigning pain, psychological symptoms or other ills to collect a payout. In hundreds of cases, expert witnesses have testified that the test provided evidence that plaintiffs were lying about their injuries, just as suggested by the test's colorful name: the Fake Bad Scale.

Use of the scale surged last year after publishers of one of the world's most venerable personality tests, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, endorsed the Fake Bad Scale and made it an official subset of the MMPI. According to a survey by St. Louis University, the Fake Bad Scale has been used by 75% of neuropsychologists, who regularly appear in court as expert witnesses.

But now some psychologists say the test is branding as liars too many people who have genuine symptoms. Some say it discriminates against women, too. In May, an American Psychological Association panel said there appeared to be a lack of good research supporting the test.


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