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Detecting Malingering and Deception: Forensic Distortion Analysis

2nd Edition, November 28, 2000

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ISBN: 978-0-8493-2325-6
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2nd Edition, November 28, 2000
  • Published Date: November 28, 2000
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 468
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


Scholars and clinicians have commented on deception for at least two millennia. As we enter the current millennium, interest in the role of deception in human behavior continues with increased enthusiasm. What new things do we have to offer in this second edition of the book? The conceptual underpinnings of the Forensic Distortion Analysis (FDA) model continue as in the original volume. Virtually every chapter has been updated with new studies and investigations from the past decade. New to this edition of the book is a significantly expanded developmental perspective in the form of several new chapters addressing the ontogeny of deceptive behavior in nonhumans and humans. The developmental approach affords an enriched understanding of the etiological dynamics of deception.

An awareness of the continuing evolution in this field is our contribution. Five generations of deception-detecting methods can be identified, two of which are utilized today by most practitioners. The first generation consists of all those judgmental methods, which rely on observing/talking to the possible deceiver and/or significant others. Observation of the person's behavior in different contexts is part of this basic method. Accuracy rates for this first-generation set of measures range from almost zero to somewhat better than chance, depending upon a host of situational and interpersonal factors.

The second generation of deception detection includes objective methods with accuracy rates substantially and consistently above chance. However, they are still by no means awe-inspiring, falling somewhere in the 60 to 85% accuracy range. The validity indices of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the polygraph for arousal responses to crime-related stimuli are two examples in this category.

A third generation of methods has recently emerged in focal areas such as forced-choice testing and neurocognitive assessment. Accuracy rates exceed 90% under the right conditions. Hypothetical models, which may eventually lead to a general theory of deception, have been proposed and constitute the fourth generation. The fifth generation is the product of technological developments including the computerization of data far surpassing the speed and memory limitations of the past. Included in this fifth generation are developments in medical technologies, the most notable of which is DNA research, which provide a variety of psychophysiological measures far more precise than currently possible with polygraph techniques.

Although this book is more of an applied book than a learned treatise, a model of deception that has utility for the evaluator is presented. The proposed model covers (1) targets of the faker, (2) response styles shown, and (3) methods to detect the deception. It will take the reader far beyond the basic differentiation between malingering vs. defensiveness as the two modes of distortion. The model proposes, for example, a fluctuating response mode as a distinct possibility, where the assessee may shift faking strategies during a single evaluation period. It is hoped the forensic evaluator will find useful methods that can be applied to a variety of deception-related settings and situations.

This book has three general aims: (1) to summarize historical and current information on distortion detection, (2) to present guidelines for detecting distortion that take into account the variable accuracy rates of different methods of deception detection and that consider the varying contexts in which distortion analysis may be relevant, and (3) to stimulate further research on effective methods of deception detection. The review of current detection methods includes experimental and judgmental methods as well as replicated and objective methods. The inclusion of these less accurate methods is not intended as an endorsement of their use by the practicing clinician, but rather as an impetus for refinement and development, which may eventuate in methods that are more useful.

The database of the authors consists of a review of hundreds of articles and books on deception and direct evaluation of several thousand forensic clients over the last 30 years. New areas of deception have continued to emerge, with items on a reading list of source material now numbering in the thousands. This book attempts to address the focal issue of detecting distortion in forensic contexts; yet it is the authors' sense that all of the material included in the book contributes to a vigorous discussion of deception detection. Several caveats are in order:

1. All cases in this book are disguised to protect the identity of relevant parties.

2. Legal citations are included to illustrate trends and controversies in the law and are not intended to represent precedents in any particular jurisdiction. Locally applicable law should be reviewed to determine practices and standards in particular cases.

3. The state of the art in deception analysis remains only slightly better than crude. It is tempting to press current methods into immediate service; yet caution should reign. This book is as much about prospects for the future as it is about practical guidelines for the present. Nevertheless, recommendations and guidelines for the practicing clinician are offered throughout the book, even when such counsel is simply to ignore a particular method.

4. This book requires readers to examine their decision processes in regard to deception. Yet, many forensic professionals are reluctant to change their biases and values with regard to deception, especially when loss of self-esteem or prestige is equated with giving up cherished beliefs.

5. A common complaint is that proper deception analysis requires much time and effort, burdening the busy professional even more. This is an increasingly accurate observation, but the authors have no sympathy for this problem. The days of administering an MMPI and a Rorschach to a client and thereby knowing everything there is to know about the person are gone forever.

6. Forensic evaluators are beginning to integrate the conceptual principles of forensic detection analysis (FDA) with emerging psychometric instruments of ever-improving sophistication and empirical validity. Similarly, the availability of new psychophysiological methods and DNA procedures offers astonishing new possibilities of adjunctive technology to FDA.

7. There are virtually no concepts or procedures in mental health that are sufficiently empirically grounded to warrant opinions expressed in absolutes. This is particularly true for virtually all the topical areas covered in this book. Yet, some forensic clinicians routinely couch their opinions in absolutes and this can be very compelling on the witness stand, especially to naive triers of fact. This circumstance should not be misused as a justification to respond in like manner.

The authors acknowledge the following individuals, many of whom have generously supplied time, ideas, manuscript reviews, and encouragement for the first edition of the book: Steven Alm, Esq., U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney, Honolulu, Hawaii; the late Edward C. Brennan, Ph.D., Scranton, Pennsylvania; James Craine, Ph.D., Consultant, Hawaii State Neuropsychology Service; Frederick Lee Hall III, Esq., Veterans' Administration, Honolulu, Hawaii; William Kilauano, Vietnam Vet Center, Honolulu, Hawaii; James I. Morrow, MGySgt, USMC (Ret.), Tucson, Arizona; Terri Needels, Ph D, Private Practice, Honolulu, Hawaii; Eugene Shooter, Ph.D., Independent Practice, Washington, D.C., and Udo Undeutsch, Ph.D., University of Cologne, Germany. The authors also acknowledge the collegial support and input of the following individuals for this second edition: Susan Carney, Gustavo Goldstein, M.D., Ellen Levin, D.W.S., Gila Nordman, L.C.S.W., Zrinka Tomic, all affiliated with Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Health and Human Services; Stuart Grozbean, Esq., Independent Practice, Rockville, Maryland; Sandy Scheele, Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Robin J. Derwin, L.C.S.W. and Clara Fratantuono, both of the Prince Georges County, Maryland, Circuit Court.

Permission is gratefully acknowledged from Child Development and Forensic Reports , the source of a number of databased articles relevant to faked memory, to reproduce a variety of tables and figures. Contents of several other articles first appeared in the American Journal of Forensic Psychology and are so indicated. The American Psychiatric Press agreed to allow presentation of base rate data on hysterical pseudo-seizures, a vexing problem in deception analysis. John E. Reid and Associates allowed the reproduction of "The 9 Steps of Interrogation, In Brief," even though the authors have pronounced misgivings about using deception to uncover deception (see Chapter 14). Scrutinizing methods at close quarters represents the first step toward understanding and limiting such techniques.

This second edition of the book is the work of Drs. Hall and Poirier who sincerely acknowledge the major contributions of Dr. David A. Pritchard to the first edition.

Many thanks are due to students and colleagues who have attended workshops and case conferences on deception. Appreciation is expressed to the staff of the National Institute of Justice, which has spent much time and effort in generating deception-related base rate data, especially in regard to violence and substance abuse.