Abstract

This study sought to identify patterns of performance indicative of malingering on the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT). Participants were randomly assigned to perform normally, simulate head injury, or simulate head injury with warning that there might be attempts to detect malingering. Participants completed an expanded AVLT and a forced-choice task, in addition to several other memory tests. The warned simulators performed worse than normals on the forced-choice task, but better than those simulating head injury without a warning, suggesting that the warned subjects recognized forced choice as a malingering test. A combination of AVLT indices was able to predict group status for both naїve and warned malingerers (73.6% for naїve malingerers, 84.8% for warned, no false positives). The forced-choice measure detected only 31.6% of the naїve malingerers when specificity was maximized, and detected only 6.5% of the warned malingerers, a significant drop in detection rate. Findings suggest that pattern of performance indices are useful in detecting malingering, even when subjects are aware of attempts to detect malingering.