- A Bayesian latent group analysis for detecting poor effort in the assessment of malingering
- Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Despite their theoretical appeal, Bayesian methods for the assessment of poor effort and malingering are still rarely used in neuropsychological research and clinical diagnosis. In this article, we outline a novel and easy-to-use Bayesian latent group analysis of malingering whose goal is to identify participants displaying poor effort when tested. Our Bayesian approach also quantifies the confidence with which each participant is classified and estimates the base rates of malingering from the observed data. We implement our Bayesian approach and compare its utility in effort assessment to that of the classic below-chance criterion of symptom validity testing (SVT). In two experiments, we evaluate the accuracy of both a Bayesian latent group analysis and the below-chance criterion of SVT in recovering the membership of participants assigned to the malingering group. Experiment 1 uses a simulation research design, whereas Experiment 2 involves the differentiation of patients with a history of stroke from coached malingerers. In both experiments, sensitivity levels are high for the Bayesian method, but low for the below-chance criterion of SVT. Additionally, the Bayesian approach proves to be resistant to possible effects of coaching. We conclude that Bayesian latent group methods complement existing methods in making more informed choices about malingering.
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