In this article, we combine two analogue experiments in which we empirically examined three malingering methodological issues in individuals trained and instructed to simulate posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI; Briere, 1995). In Experiment 1, we examined TSI scale effects of the following manipulations using a 2 x 2 design with 330 college students: (a) inclusion or exclusion of cautionary instructions regarding believability of participants' simulation and (b) different financial incentive levels. In Experiment 2, we examined comorbid psychiatric diagnostic training with 180 college students who were either trained to simulate PTSD and comorbid major depressive disorder or trained to simulate only PTSD. Caution main effects were significant for all but two TSI Clinical Scales, incentive main effects and interactions were only significant for one Clinical scale each, and the comorbidity manipulation did not yield any scale differences. We discuss malingering research design implications regarding the use of cautionary instructions, financial incentive levels, and comorbid training.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was based on the master’s theses of J. J. Butcher, A. N. Reeves, and S. N. Baugher and was funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Education, The University of South Dakota. Simulation training materials are available by request from J. D. Elhai.