Detection of malingering: validation of the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS)

J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1997;25(2):183-9.


This article discusses the development and validation of a paper and pencil screening measure, the Structured inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS), designed to detect malingering. Test items were constructed from a combination of revised validity questions from existing instruments and characteristics of malingerers noted by existing research. Items were organized on one of five subscales by experienced clinical psychologists. College students (N = 476) were assigned to one of seven simulation conditions (i.e., psychosis, amnesia, neurologic impairment, mania, depression, low intelligence, and "fake bad") or an honestly responding group. All subjects were administered the SIMS, the F and K scales of the MMPI, 16PF Faking Bad scale, and portions of the malingering scale. The SIMS total score demonstrated the highest sensitivity rating (95.6%) for detection when compared with the other validity indices. Suggestions concerning further research using the SIMS as well as its potential utility in a complete evaluation process are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Patient Simulation
  • Personality Tests / standards*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Random Allocation
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Set, Psychology