Cross-Validation of a Psychological Test Battery to Detect Faked Insanity

David Schretlen, Stacy Schantz Wilkins, Wilfred G. Van Gorp, Julie Hoida Bobholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Attempts were made in these 2 studies of simulated insanity to enhance ecological validity: Experimental fakers were given potent monetary incentives to conceal their deception; psychiatric inpatients and convicted felons were used in criterion groups; and subjects took a battery of psychological tests that varied in task demands. In Experiment 1, 8 predictor variables drawn from the MMPI, Bender Gestalt, and a newly developed Malingering Scale were used to derive a single discriminant function that best differentiated 20 prison inmates faking insanity from 40 nonfaking criterion and control group subjects. The optimal function consisted of 3 variables, yielded a canonical correlation of .823, and correctly classified 93.3% of subjects. Experiment 2 served to cross-validate the derived equation on 22 substance abusers instructed to fake insanity and 20 inpatients from a schizophrenia treatment unit who received standard instructions. On cross-validation, 97.6% of subjects were correctly classified. Reasons for the unexpected lack of predictive "shrinkage" are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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