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Malingering & Deception

The malingering classification is not a lie detection test.

Malingering refers to the conscious fabrication or gross exaggeration of physical or psychological symptoms (Am Psychiatric Association, 1980).

Clients may see fit to fabricate or to exaggerate in order to avoid undesirable consequences.

When lawyers have reason to believe the client’s self-report is somehow unreliable or incomplete, they suspect malingering and use the services of the forensic psychologist to:

  1. help make sense of the client’s presentation;
  2. explain psychologically the client’s presentation;
  3. and for the sake of objectivity, find competing explanations.

For example, in cases where the client is overly acquiescent to authorities, has low intelligence, or is highly suggestive to interrogation, the forensic psychologist can help establish the presence and influence of such competing hypotheses and therefore lend more credibility to the client’s presentation.

Malingering is not a rare event, especially when dealing with disability cases, personal injury cases, and competency cases. Malingering constitutes obstruction of justice. Minneapolis Liscensed Psychologist, Dr. Alberta is aware of the likelihood of malingering and appreciates the gravity this offense. Given his training and his forensic experience, Dr. Alberta can assist the finder of fact by employing valid and reliable psychologist testing procedures in order to describe and quantify the client’s behavior. The tests he uses are based on accepted scientific techniques which are in general use, available in forensic psychological literature, and which meet the reliability standards of low error rates.

If you would like to set up a Malingering & Deception Assessment, contact Minneapolis-based Psychologist, Dr. Richard Alberta today.