Detection of feigned mental disorders a meta-analysis of the MMPI-2 and malingering

Richard Rogers, Kenneth W. Sewell, Mary A. Martin, Michael J Vitacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The validity of test data from nniltiscale inventories is dependent on self-reports that may be easily distorted by malingering. In examining the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2's (MMPI-2) role in the assessment of feigning, this review provides a conceptual analysis of the detection strategies underlying the MMPI-2 validity scales. The conceptual analysis is augmented by comprehensive meta-analysis of 65 MMPI-2 feigning studies plus II MMPI-2 diagnostic studies. For the rare-symptoms strategy, Fp (Cohen 's d = 2.02) appears especially effective across diagnostic groups; its cut scores evidence greater consistency than most validity indicators. The data supported the F as an effective scale but questioned the routine use ofFb. Among the specialized scales, Ds appeared especially useful because of its sophisticated strategy, consistent cut score, and minimal false-positives. General guidelines are offered for specific MMPI-2 validity scales in the assessment of malingering with specific diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-177
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Detection strategies
  • Feigning
  • MMPI-2
  • Malingering
  • Overreporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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