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Psychol Assess. 2002 Jun;14(2):202-8.

Actual versus self-reported scholastic achievement of litigating postconcussion and severe closed head injury claimants.

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Psychological Systems, Inc., 26862 Woodward, Suite 103, Royal Oak, Michigan 48067, USA.


Psychologists typically rely on patients' self-report of premorbid status in litigated settings. The authors examined the fidelity between self-reported and actual scholastic performance in litigating head injury claimants. The data indicated late postconcussion syndrome (LPCS) and severe closed head injury litigants retrospectively inflated scholastic performance to a greater degree than nonlitigating control groups. The LPCS group showed the highest magnitude of grade inflation, but discrepancy scores did not significantly correlate with a battery of malingering measures or with objective cerebral dysfunction. These findings support previous studies, which showed self-report is not a reliable basis for estimation of preinjury cognitive status. Retrospective inflation may represent a response shift bias shaped by an adversarial context rather than a form of malingering.

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