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Case Review: Malingering

•Review the case study taking note of ethical issues in the case.

Case Study
As the forensic psychology professional conducting an evaluation for the Court on an individual with a referral question of "insanity," you have obtained the following information:
He is a 24-year-old black, male who is charged with child sexual abuse. His mother is a known prostitute who is addicted to crack cocaine. The defendant has a previous diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and you concur with the diagnosis. However, your evaluation brings you to the conclusion that, although he has a severe mental disease (i.e. paranoid schizophrenia) at the time he allegedly molested an eight-year-old male neighbor, he understood what he was doing and that it was wrong, both morally and legally. You also learn the defendant has hepatitis C, and he admits to previously molesting per-pubescent boys. On a test for malingering where he is asked to remember the following and shown the items for 10 seconds and then reproduce it in writing:
6 7 8 9
g b c d
The defendant states he is unable to remember any of the items. You know that even the most impaired individuals can remember nine of the 16 items. Scores below nine indicate feigning memory issues. The defendant demonstrates a consistent pattern of malingering on his test results and with his behavior. You over-hear him discussing during a phone call that he is doing a "good job" of "fooling these doctors." You also suspect, given your extensive evaluation, that, if released, he will predate (be a predator) prey on future pre-pubescent males. You find out that he has two younger brothers, one of which you learn was sexually molested while in a foster home.

describe the ethical dilemmas that you chose from case study.
•Explain what information you might include/exclude in your report or testimony and the reasoning behind why you chose to include/exclude particular information.
•Explain which ethical code and guidelines you might you be violating or might be in question given the information that you included in the report or testimony. Be sure to cite specific codes and guidelines.
•Explain the implications/consequences of the information that you divulge in your report or testimony.
•Share an insight(s) or draw a conclusion(s) about report writing and testimony in Forensic Psychology settings

Solution Preview

Case Review: Malingering

The case involves the task of providing expert witness testimony on the possible malingering of an accused child sexual abuser. The accused, a 24-year old Black male was earlier diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the crime but was legally and morally aware that what he was doing is wrong. HIs test results show that he is malingering made much more obvious by an overheard conversation wherein he declared he is doing a good job of fooling the doctors. Where to be declared insane during the crime would be a route towards escaping the consequences of his actions, the expert's duty is to spot malingering and declare a position from a point of competence and integrity to the courts. Malingering (Psychology Today, 2014) is simply defined as, "pretending to be sick when you aren't or pretending to be sicker than you are." Whereby there is observable, "purposeful production of falsely or grossly exaggerated complaints with the goal of receiving a reward." As such, a malingerer "may respond to items in a certain manner to attain release from incarceration. One example is the case of Ganser syndrome, which is when a person tailors their answers to fake psychosis."

It is my duty thus to include the following information - the results from the malingering test and the conclusions that can be raised from it which includes the notion that the accused has purposefully answered the items in a manner that would fit a particular ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of case malingering. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.