Expert Knowledge Doesn’t Help: Detecting Feigned Psychosis in People with Psychiatric Expertise Using the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS)

M. Jelicic*, M. van Gaal, M.J.V. Peters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the present study was to examine whether expertise in the field of psychiatry undermines the efficacy of the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS) to detect feigned psychosis. Participants without psychiatric expertise (n = 24) and those with psychiatric expertise (n = 23) were asked to fill out the SIMS twice. On one occasion they had to fill out the SIMS honestly, the other occasion they were requested to complete the SIMS imagining they had decided to malinger psychosis because they were standing trial for a serious offence and wanted to avoid legal responsibility. Participants with psychiatric expertise engaged in less flagrant feigning on the SIMS than those without expertise. However, when asked to malinger psychosis, most participants were classified by the SIMS as malingerers, regardless of their expertise in the field of psychiatry. This indicates that psychiatric expertise does not imply a sophisticated form of feigning that evades detection by the SIMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychopathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • assessment
  • feigning
  • forensic psychology
  • malingering
  • psychiatry
  • psychosis

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