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Law Hum Behav. 2001 Dec;25(6):567-82.

The relationship between psychopathic personality features and malingering symptoms of major mental illness.

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  • 1Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida, Tampa 33612-3899, USA. poythres@hal.fmhi.usf.edu


This study examined the relationship between psychopathy and malingering in a subsample of male prison inmates (n = 55) participating in a larger study of the clinical utility of various assessment measures in correctional settings. Participants' capacity to feign major mental illness successfully was evaluated using standard cutoff scores for the detection of malingering on a variety of instruments, including the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS; G. P Smith & G. O. Burger, 1997), the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS; R. Rogers, R. M. Bagby, & S. E. Dickens, 1992), and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; L. Morey, 1991). Psychopathic traits were assessed via the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI; S.O. Lilienfeld & B. P Andrews, 1996). Correlations between the malingering indices and the PPI were low (-.14 to .14) and not statistically significant. These findings fail to support the clinical intuition that individuals with higher levels of psychopathy are likely to be more adept at malingering.

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