The Irony of Pseudo-Malingering

The latest in my ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ series – taken from The Great Courses’ Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works (Lecture 29: Forensic Psychology & Psychiatry)

There are four kinds of Deception seen in forensic psychology/psychiatry

  • MALINGERING (simulation) – when someone consciously fakes a mental illness to get treated differently under the law. Malingerers tend to pick a ‘charismatic’ or well-known mental illness (PTSD, multiple personality disorder) and will often go over the top in faking the symptoms to be convincing.
  • DEFENSIVENESS (Dissimulation) when a defendant with a mental illness consciously professes not to have one.
  • PSEUDO-MALINGERING – when a defendant with a mental illness will pretend to have a different mental illness to be treated differently under the law. That person often doesn’t realise they already have a mental illness.
  • LYING – straight out old fashioned deception to big-note, downplay, change the facts, confuse the jury or save their butt. Tailored to the concept of ‘reasonable doubt’.