Feigning Adult ADHD on a Comprehensive Neuropsychological Test Battery: An Analogue Study

Miriam Becke, Lara Tucha, Marah Butzbach, Steffen Aschenbrenner, Matthias Weisbrod, Oliver Tucha, Anselm B M Fuermaier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The evaluation of performance validity is an essential part of any neuropsychological evaluation. Validity indicators embedded in routine neuropsychological tests offer a time-efficient option for sampling performance validity throughout the assessment while reducing vulnerability to coaching. By administering a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery to 57 adults with ADHD, 60 neurotypical controls, and 151 instructed simulators, we examined each test's utility in detecting noncredible performance. Cut-off scores were derived for all available outcome variables. Although all ensured at least 90% specificity in the ADHD Group, sensitivity differed significantly between tests, ranging from 0% to 64.9%. Tests of selective attention, vigilance, and inhibition were most useful in detecting the instructed simulation of adult ADHD, whereas figural fluency and task switching lacked sensitivity. Five or more test variables demonstrating results in the second to fourth percentile were rare among cases of genuine adult ADHD but identified approximately 58% of instructed simulators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4070
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24-Feb-2023


  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/psychology
  • Malingering/diagnosis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Wakefulness
  • Mentoring
  • Reproducibility of Results

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