A note on cognitive dissonance and malingering

H. Merckelbach, T. Merten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper proposes that malingered symptoms may become internalized due to the self-deceptive power of cognitive dissonance. Studies demonstrating how other-deception may turn into self-deception are briefly discussed, as are clinical notions about the overlap between malingering and medically unexplained symptoms. In our view this literature showcases the relevance of cognitive dissonance for research on malingering. A cognitive dissonance perspective may help to clarify how ambiguous sensations may escalate into subjectively compelling symptoms. This perspective suggests that malingered symptom reports are more than just a complication during psychological evaluation. It may generate new research avenues and may clarify practically relevant issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1229
Number of pages13
JournalNeuropsychology, Development and Cognition. Section D: The Clinical Neuropsychologist
Volume26
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Malingering
  • Medically unexplained symptoms
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Self-deception
  • MEDICALLY UNEXPLAINED SYMPTOMS
  • FACTITIOUS DISORDERS
  • TEST-PERFORMANCE
  • ILLNESS
  • EXAGGERATION
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • ATTRIBUTION
  • MECHANISMS
  • DIAGNOSES
  • DECEPTION

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