Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Wechsler Memory Scale-3 Faces Subtest Performance in Head Injured and Probable Malingering Patients

Event Location / Date(s)

Miami, FL / October 9-12, 2002

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

22nd Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology



Forced choice recognition memory tests are often useful in the identification of insufficient effort or symptom exaggeration. These measures are typically evaluated to determine if scores are lower than those obtained by patients with cognitive impairment or if scores are less than would be obtained by chance. This study compared the WMS-III Faces subtest performances of 48 nonlitigating head injured patients to that of 25 probable malingerers to determine the diagnostic utility of various cut-off scores. Patients were examined an average of 9.5 months after mild (n = 15) or moderate (n = 33) head trauma. Litigants scored below probable malingering cutoffs on the TOMM or portland digit recognition an average of 24 months after minor or mild head trauma. Probable malingerers obtained significantly lower scores on the Faces subtests than head injured patients. No head injured patient scored below 24/48 on Faces 2 or 49/96 on the total of the Faces 1 and 2 trials. 20% of probable malingerers performed below these cut-off scores. 95% of head injured patients scored above 26/48 on the Faces 1, 28/48 on Faces 2, and 56/96 on the total of the Faces trials. Twnty-four percent of probable malingerers performed below one or more of these cut-off scores. Application of the binomial theorem to the faces subtests indicates that scores of 18 or less on Faces 1 or 2 and 39 or less on Faces total fall significantly below chance at the .05 level. Eight percent of probable malingerers scored significantly below chance on one or more of these measures.

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