Faculty Articles

Detection of Malingered Psychosis with the MMPI-2

Robert Pensa
William I. Dorfman, Nova Southeastern University
Steven N. Gold, Nova Southeastern University


This study investigated the utility of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) in the detection of malingered psychosis. Twenty males diagnosed from a county psychiatric hospital were matched for age and education with twenty male volunteers. Every subject was administered the full 567-itcm MMPI-2. In addition, the malingering subject received training materials on psychosis along with instructions and monetary incentives to malinger. Significant group differences were found on a newly created F-Fb Index, which yielded a hit-rate of 70%. Additional t-tests also Revealed significant group differences on scales Infrequency (F) and Bizarre Mentation (BIZ) along with Subtle-Obvious Difference Score and the F-Fb index, yielding hit-rates in the 80-90% range. Scale Back-Page Infrequency (Fb) did not yield significant group differences, but this may have been a result of a stringent alpha level. Finally, a discriminant function with scales F, Fb, F-K, BIZ, and S-0 yielded a hit-rate of 92.5%. The results suggest that the MMPI-2 is an effective instrument at identifying malingered psychosis.