Detection of dissimulation among Social Security disability applicants using the WMS-III
The Rey 15-Item Test, a measure designed to detect malingering of memory impairment, is the measure most commonly requested by the Department of Social Security for the purpose of detection of dissimulation among Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants. Research has indicated that the Rey 15-Item Test may be inappropriate for detecting malingering among persons with actual memory disorders and mental retardation, two conditions that are common among SSDI applicants.
An alternate measure of malingering, presented by Killgore and DellaPietra (2000a), utilizes response bias to items on the Logical Memory Delayed Recognition subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale, Third Edition, to detect dissimulation based on six rarely missed items of the subtest. Another measure, presented by Mittenberg, Azrin, Millsaps, and Heilbronner (1993), utilizes difference scores between the General Memory Index and the Attention/Concentration Index of the Wechsler Memory Scale, Revised Edition, to detect malingering. Mittenberg et al. hypothesized that an individual's capacity for attention and concentration should be at least that of his or her capacity for memory in general.
As the latter two measures of malingering utilize the Wechsler Memory Scale, a measure included in the standard battery of tests requested to be administered to adult SSDI applicants, it was proposed that one or both of these measures might be used in lieu of the additionally administered Rey 15-Item Test, thereby potentially reducing costs and eliminating ethical concerns aroused by the negative literature regarding this measure. The results indicated that the three measures of malingering were not significantly correlated among each other. These findings cast doubt upon the validity of malingering indices employed by this study.
0632: Psychological tests