The fake bad scale in atypical and severe closed head injury litigants



The correlational and diagnostic properties of Lees-Haley's MMPI-2 Fake Bad Scale (FBS) were examined in litigating atypical minor, litigating moderate–severe, and non-litigating moderate–severe head injury samples. Overall, the FBS was sensitive to both litigation status and nonconforming versus conforming symptom courses. The FBS appeared superior to the MMPI-2 F and F-K scales in differentiating atypical from real brain-injury outcomes. High FBS scorers also had higher scores on somatic complaining (Hs, Hy) and to a lesser degree with psychotic complaints (F, Pa, Sc). FBS showed significant associations with various neuropsychological symptom validity measures. FBS appears to capture a hybrid of infrequent symptom reporting styles with an emphasis on unauthentic physical complaints. However, FBS also correlated with documented abnormal neurological signs within a litigating moderate–severe brain-injury group. Its use as a symptom infrequency measure may have to be modified in more severe injury litigants, as some FBS items may reflect true long-term outcome in severe cerebral dysfunction. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 58: 1591–1600, 2002.