Actual versus self-reported scholastic achievement of litigating postconcussion and severe closed head injury claimants

Psychol Assess. 2002 Jun;14(2):202-8. doi: 10.1037//1040-3590.14.2.202.


Psychologists typically rely on patients' self-report of premorbid status in litigated settings. The authors examined the fidelity between self-reported and actual scholastic performance in litigating head injury claimants. The data indicated late postconcussion syndrome (LPCS) and severe closed head injury litigants retrospectively inflated scholastic performance to a greater degree than nonlitigating control groups. The LPCS group showed the highest magnitude of grade inflation, but discrepancy scores did not significantly correlate with a battery of malingering measures or with objective cerebral dysfunction. These findings support previous studies, which showed self-report is not a reliable basis for estimation of preinjury cognitive status. Retrospective inflation may represent a response shift bias shaped by an adversarial context rather than a form of malingering.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / psychology*
  • Deception*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review*
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Self Disclosure