ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 4, Issue 1, 78-87, 2013
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Symptom Validity Testing: Unresolved Questions, Future Directions

Scott O. Lilienfeld, Ph.D.(a), April D. Thames, Ph.D.(b), Ashley L. Watts, B.A.(a)
(a) Emory University
(b) University of California, Los Angeles

Volume 4, Issue 1, 2013, Pages 78-87

As the stimulating articles in this Special Issue demonstrate, symptom validity tests (SVTs) are alive and well in neuropsychology and allied fields. At the same time, a number of key unresolved issues regarding the construct validity and clinical utility of SVTs remain. In this commentary, we address six largely unanswered questions regarding SVTs: (1) Do SVTs possess clinical validity?; (2) Is malingering taxonic?; (3) Is there an overarching dimension of malingering and low effort?; (4) How should be combine information from different SVTs?; (5) Can the assessment of psychopathy supplement information from SVTs?; and (6) How do ethnicity and culture affect the interpretation of SVTs? We conclude that SVTs play an indispensable role in the detection of aberrant response sets in neuropsychology, although the precise meaning of scores on many SVTs requires clarification.

Table of Contents
Do SVTs Possess Clinical Validity?
Is Malingering Taxonic?
Is There an Overarching Dimension of Malingering and Low Effort?
How Should We Combine Information From Different SVTs?
Can the Assessment of Psychopathy Supplement Information from SVTs?
How Do Ethnicity and Culture Affect the Interpretation of SVTs?
Concluding Thoughts

Correspondence to
Scott O. Lilienfeld, Department of Psychology, Room 440, Emory University, 36 Eagle Row, Atlanta, Georgia 30322.

neuropsychology, malingering, validity, psychopathy

Received 10 Apr 2012; Revised 17 Apr 2012; Accepted 17 Apr 2012; In Press 27 Jan 2013

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