The Fake Bad Scale: Malingering or Litigation Response Syndrome -- Which is It?

  • David S. Nichols, Ph.D. Oregon State Hospital (Retired)
  • Carlton S. Gass Neuropsychology Clinic, Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center


This report examines the similarity of items on the MMPI-2 and MMPI-2-RF versions of the Lees-Haley, et al. (1991) Symptom Validity (formerly Fake Bad) Scale (FBS; FBS-r) with emotional and somatic symptoms described in an earlier article by Lees-Haley as credible stress reactions to litigation involvement: the Litigation Response Syndrome (Lees-Haley, 1988). Substantial overlap was found between the FBS items and these earlier symptom descriptions, with a majority of the litigation-based stress items found on both the FBS and FBS-r. The probable impact of credible symptom reporting on FBS/FBS-r scores in personal injury litigation is discussed.


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Personality Assessment