Knowledge of Depression and Malingering: An Exploratory Investigation

Ashley Cartwright, Rebecca Donkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Malingering mental disorder for financial compensation can offer substantial rewards to those willing to do so. A recent review of UK medico-legal experts’ practices for detecting claimants evidenced that they are not well equipped to detect those that do. This is not surprising, considering that very little is known regarding why individuals opt to malinger. A potential construct which may influence an individual’s choice to malinger is their knowledge of the disorder, and when one considers the high levels of depression literacy within the UK, it is imperative that this hypothesis is investigated. A brief depression knowledge scale was devised and administered to undergraduate students (n=155) alongside a series of questions exploring how likely participants were to malinger in both workplace stress and claiming for benefit vignettes. Depression knowledge did not affect the likelihood of engaging in any malingering strategy in either the workplace stress vignettes or the benefit claimant vignettes. Differences were found between the two vignettes providing evidence for the context-specific nature of malingering, and an individual’s previous mental disorder was also influential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-44
Number of pages13
JournalEurope's Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020


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