Antisocial features and "faking bad": A critical note

I.J.M. Niesten*, L. Nentjes, H. Merckelbach, D.P. Bernstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Web of Science)


We critically review the literature on antisocial personality features and symptom fabrication (i.e., faking bad; e.g., malingering). A widespread assumption is that these constructs are intimately related. Some studies have, indeed, found that antisocial individuals score higher on instruments detecting faking bad, but others have been unable to replicate this pattern. In addition, studies exploring whether antisocial individuals are especially talented in faking bad have generally come up with null results. The notion of an intrinsic link between antisocial features and faking bad is difficult to test and research in this domain is sensitive to selection bias. We argue that research on faking bad would profit from further theoretical articulation. One topic that deserves scrutiny is how antisocial features affect the cognitive dissonance typically induced by faking bad. We illustrate our points with preliminary data and discuss their implications. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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