Personal Injury Expert Witnesses Use “Fake Bad Scale”

In Test to Spot Liars Takes Center Stage in Personal Injury Cases Debra Cassens Weiss writes for the ABA Journal on personal injury expert witnesses using the “Fake Bad Scale”:

Expert witnesses are citing a test designed to spot those who are faking their pain in hundreds of court cases, prompting debate about its reliability.

The so-called Fake Bad Scale was added to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory last year, leading to its increasing use by expert witnesses in personal injury cases, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.). The MMPI is often used to diagnose and treat patients at mental-health facilities.

The 43-question test was created by psychologist Paul Lees-Haley, who often works as an expert witness for the defense, the story explains. He tested the questionnaire on three groups: malingering personal-injury litigants, who had an average score of 27.6; people told to fake emotional distress, who had an average score of 25; and injured litigants, who had an average score of 15.7. He concluded that those who score 20 or above may be lying about their symptoms.