Retrospectively Assessing for Feigning in Criminal Responsibility Evaluations: Recommendations for Clinical Practice

Emily D. Gottfried, Allison M. Schenk, Michael J. Vitacco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Evaluating for feigning, the intentional production or misrepresentation of psychological symptoms or cognitive impairments, is an essential component of every forensic evaluation (Rogers, Jackson, Salekin, & Neumann, 2003). One strategy of feigning that has largely been overlooked in the field of forensic psychology and psychiatry is retrospectively feigning symptoms in the context of criminal responsibility evaluations. Specifically, this involves a defendant who is not currently feigning symptoms, but is reporting experiencing a number of symptoms of mental illness at the time of the crime. Although there are numerous measures designed to detect current feigned psychological symptoms or cognitive impairments, little research has been devoted to the proper evaluation of retrospective feigning. Because this concept has been overlooked and underresearched, this paper offers suggestions and best-practice guidelines for evaluating retrospective feigning in the context of criminal responsibility evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-128
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychology Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 14 2016



  • Criminal responsibility evaluations
  • feigning
  • malingering
  • retrospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Applied Psychology

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