Date of Graduation
Neuropsychologists frequently are called upon to evaluate patients in a medicolegal context. An important part of these evaluations is determining whether the patient is being honest and forthright in his presentation of symptoms and in his test performance, or whether the patient is deliberately exaggerating his deficits via malingering. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the efficacy of using the Recognition Memory Test (RMT), Digit Span Test (WAIS-R), and Knox Cube Test as markers for malingered memory deficits. These tests were all designed to measure some aspect of attention and memory, not to assess non-optimal test performance. However, if non-optimal performance can be identified on these procedures, then a neuropsychologist can draw two sets of inferences from the scores derived from each test (i.e., inferences regarding the construct the test is believed to measure, or inferences regarding non-optimal performance). Participants were 100 subjects from three general populations; university students, federal inmates, and patients with head injuries. Twenty students, 20 inmates, and 20 patients with head injuries resulting in memory impairment were instructed to try their best on the assessment procedures. The remaining 20 students and 20 inmates were instructed to malinger memory impairment on the procedures. It was found that the experimental-malingerers (i.e., students and inmates) performed more poorly than the patients with head injuries on nearly every score derived from the three tests. A discriminant function analysis using the age-corrected scale score from Digit Span, the total score from the Knox Cube Test, and the raw scores for words and faces from the RMT as predictors of group membership resulted in an overall correct classification rate of 99%. Simultaneously applying the two empirically-derived cutoff scores from the RMT resulted in an overall correct classification rate of 100%.
Iverson, Grant Loren, "An investigation of within-evaluation markers for detecting malingered memory impairment." (1993). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9090.