Malingering intellectual disability: the value of available measures and methods.

Research paper by Karen L KL Salekin, Bridget M BM Doane

Indexed on: 12 May '09Published on: 12 May '09Published in: Applied neuropsychology


Atkins v. Virginia (2002) is a case that has changed the landscape in relation to the assessment of malingering in a legal context. This landmark decision abolished the death penalty for defendants found to have intellectual disability (ID; formally known as mental retardation), but limitations in our assessment techniques lead to questions regarding the veracity of ID claims. In fact, Justice Scalia noted with clarity that concerns exist regarding the ability of individuals to feign ID and to do so successfully. At the time of writing, little empirical research has been completed, but that which exists demonstrates an overall lack of validity for traditional measures of cognitive malingering for use with this population. This manuscript provides an overview of the utility of many of the traditional measures of malingering for use with an ID population and serves as a call for research in this very important area.