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Diego Madrigal
Diego Madrigal
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Test Can Wrongly Accuse Victims of Being Liars

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A test used by insurance companies to determine if plaintiffs are “malingerers” or lying has come under scrutiny recently because of its lack of reliability. Under the Fake Bad Scare virtually everyone can be a liar, say experts. For example,

The test asks a person to answer true or false to 43 statements, such as “My sleep is fitful and disturbed” and “I have nightmares every few nights.” Someone who suffers from, say, post-traumatic stress disorder might legitimately answer “true” to these questions. But doing so would earn the test-taker two points toward the total of 23 or so that marks a person as a possible malingerer.

Other test statements are “I have very few headaches” and “I have few or no pains.” These are false, someone who has chronic headaches would say. Again, those replies would incur two more points toward a possible assessment as a malingerer.

Although all those involved in the justice system want to eliminate false claims, I think it is safe to say that a test that gives points toward lying when they are indeed telling the truth is not the best way to accomplish this. Thankfully, Florida courts have not allowed the test used because of the dispute over its validity.