December 31, 2011

Updates of leading malingering and Miranda rights tests

As we ring in the new year, here are a couple of updates on tests some of you may be using in your forensic practices.
Miranda instruments revised

When it comes to assessing whether a criminal defendant had the capacity to waive his or her Miranda rights prior to giving a statement to police, there is only one game in town -- the Instruments for Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda Rights by eminent forensic psychologist Tom Grisso and colleagues. Now, that set of tests has been completely revised and given a new name: the Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments (MRCI). One of the main problems with the old instruments was that their language was more complex than the actual language used by many police warnings, reducing their real-world validity. That problem has been rectified through simpler language in the new edition. Also, the test developers promise better psychometric properties and updated normative data. But it's kind of a tricky situation, because we are being instructed to use the new instruments when assessing juveniles, but to stick with the old ones for assessing adults until new adult norms are published some time in 2013. More on the new instruments is HERE.

Facelift for gold-standard malingering test

In contrast to Miranda rights, there is no shortage of instruments for assessing malingering. But for assessing malingered psychosis, one instrument is widely recognized as the "gold standard." That test is Richard Rogers and colleagues’ Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS). It too was recently revised. The revision was in part due to the discovery that the original SIRS failed to adequately distinguish between some people diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder and people who were instructed to deliberately exaggerate symptoms. But critical reception for the revised tool, the SIRS-2, has been less than stellar. Over at the Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology, forensic psychologist Greg DeClue warns that the SIRS-2 may be vulnerable to admissibility challenges in court. That is due to the publishers' refusal to be transparent by letting independent professionals such as DeClue analyze their data. DeClue challenges the test's developers to submit a comprehensive description of the SIRS-2 validation study for peer-reviewed publication, and to let independent professionals analyze the data without impediment. His interesting critique is HERE.

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

Thank you for discussing malingering and its association to dissociative identity disorder/multiple personalities.

I do not believe DID exists but was once diagnosed with it. Yes, it is very easy to malinger personalities.

May I publish your article on my blog: Multiple Personalities Don't Exist @

It is important that we keep talking about malingering, dissociative identity disorder, and the law.

Thank you,
Jeanette Bartha