Differentiating factitious psychological presentations from malingering: Implications for forensic practice [2018]

Practitioners and researchers have long been challenged with identifying deceptive response styles in forensic contexts, particularly when differentiating malingering from factitious presentations. The origins and the development of factitious disorders as a diagnostic classification are discussed, as well as the many challenges and limitations present with the current diagnostic conceptualization. As an alternative to a formal diagnosis, forensic practitioners may choose to consider most factitious psychological presentations (FPPs) as a dimensional construct that are classified like malingering as a V code. Building on Rogers’ central motivations for malingering, the current article provides four explanatory models for FPPs; three of these parallel malingering (pathogenic, criminological, and adaptational) but differ in their central features. In addition, the nurturance model stresses how patients with FPPs attempt to use their relationship with treating professionals to fulfill their unmet psychological needs. Relying on these models, practical guidelines are recommended for evaluating FPPs in a forensic context.

Sarah Velsor Richard Rogers

Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 17 September 2018