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