DETECTING ATTEMPTS TO MALINGER MEMORY DEFICITS USING THE WECHSLER MEMORY SCALE-III (WMS-III)
Brophy, P.D. and Grieshop, R.K., Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, USA
As the old saying goes, a liar must have a good memory. This paper describes a group of procedures for ruling out malingering which can be used when scoring the WMS-III. The first procedure scores the verbal paired associates I, II, and recognition subtests for errors in which a paired associate is answered correctly one or more times and is soon afterwards answered incorrectly, or forgotten, on subsequent trials. The second procedure scores the logical memory II recognition subtest for 'rarely missed items.' The third procedure compares scores from the faces I and II subtests with item recognizability. The second and third procedures reason that persons errors should correlate with item difficulty. Missing 'easy' items while correctly answering 'hard' items is challenging to explain. Each person's scores obtained by these procedures is compared with norms developed over a large group of disability applicants. If they have many such unexplainable errors in the absence of clear medical findings and a psychosocial history of personality disorder, their likelihood of having malingered is more likely. These procedures aid objective decision making when ruling malingering either in or out.