Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William Drew Gouvier


Dissimulation malingering, unlike simulation malingering, refers to downplaying actual psychological difficulties in order to achieve secondary gain. Although several psychological tests have subscales designed to detect dissimulation, only the Assessment of Dissimulation Scale (ADS) has been specifically designed for this purpose. This screening instrument had limited usefulness, as it was validated only with college students. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the ADS was effective in detecting dissimulation in criminal and civilly committed populations which are likely to be the clinical targets for such a scale, and to establish a cut-off score on the ADS above which dissimulation should be suspected. In addition, the role of executive functioning on an individual's ability to dissimulate was explored. The ADS proved efficacious, correctly classifying 69% of clinical participants as either faking good or answering honestly. This classification rate is significantly better than chance (p $<$.0001). Furthermore, a cut-off score of $\ge$19, minimized false positive and false negative error rates; and, in a cross validation sample, correctly classified 72.2% of honest responders and 53.3% of dissimulators. Sensitivity and specificity data are also provided for other scores. Furthermore, validity data are presented and the difficulties of studying. the role of executive functioning in this population are discussed.