Post-Daubert admissibility of scientific evidence on malingering of cognitive deficits

J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2001;29(2):207-15.


In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1993) the Supreme Court held that evidence must be "reliable" to be admissible and for scientific evidence "evidentiary reliability" is based on scientific validity. This article addresses the question "Do the Rey 15-Item Test ('FIT'), the Test of Memory Malingering ('TOMM'), and the Validity Indicator Profile ('VIP') likely meet the Daubert standard for admissibility of scientific evidence?" Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV, respectively), and base rates of 30 and 15 percent were calculated for each test. Given the existing literature on malingering and the implications of a misclassification of malingering, we discuss the findings for each of the three tests using a PPV > or = 80 percent with a base rate of malingering of < or = 30. Our analyses indicate that the Rey 15-FIT fails to meet this standard of scientific validity. In contrast, the TOMM shows high specificity and PPV, and our findings suggest cautious optimism regarding the VIP. These results are discussed within the context of the courts' guidelines for the Daubert standard.

Publication types

  • Legal Case
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Expert Testimony / standards
  • Forensic Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Forensic Psychiatry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Malingering / classification
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States