Malingering dissociative identity disorder: objective and projective assessment

Psychol Rep. 2002 Apr;90(2):525-38. doi: 10.2466/pr0.2002.90.2.525.


Verification of dissociative identity disorder presents challenges given the complex nature of the illness. This study addressed the concern that this disorder can be successfully malingered on objective and projective psychological tests. 50 undergraduate women were assigned to a Malingering or a Control condition, then completed the Rorschach Inkblot Test and the Dissociative Experiences Scale II. The Malingering group were asked to simulate dissociative identity disorder; controls received instructions to answer all materials honestly. Analysis indicated that malingerers were significantly more likely to endorse dissociative experiences on the Dissociative Experiences Scale II in the range common to patients with diagnosed dissociative identity disorder. However, on the Rorschach there were no significant differences between the two groups. Results suggest that the assessment of dissociative identity disorder requires a multifaceted approach with both objective and projective assessment tools. Research is needed to assess these issues in clinical populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Dissociative Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Malingering / epidemiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Rorschach Test*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*