Psychological Injury and Law

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 182-197

First online:

Inaccuracies About the MMPI-2 Fake Bad Scale in the Reply by Ben-Porath, Greve, Bianchini, and Kaufman (2009)

  • Carolyn L. WilliamsAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota Email author 
  • , James N. ButcherAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota
  • , Carlton S. GassAffiliated withMiami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System
  • , Edward CumellaAffiliated withRemuda Program for Eating Disorders
  • , Zina KallyAffiliated withRemuda Program for Eating Disorders

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Based on a focused review and careful analysis of a large amount of published research, Butcher et al. (Psychol Inj and Law 1(3):191–209, 2008) concluded that the Fake Bad Scale (FBS) does not appear to be a sufficiently reliable or valid measure of the construct “faking bad”. Butcher et al. (Psychol Inj and Law 1(3):191–209, 2008) pointed out examples of errors in some of the most widely cited studies (including meta-analytic) used to support the FBS and described potential biases if the FBS is used to impute the motivation to malinger in those reaching its variable and imprecise cutoff scores. In a response to this article, Ben-Porath et al. (Psychol Inj Law 2:62–85, 2009) dismissed all the concerns raised in it with suggestions that our conclusions were based on faulty premises, misunderstandings of basic concepts, misleading descriptions of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) research, flawed analyses, and so on. This reply corrects some of Ben-Porath and colleagues’ (Psychol Inj Law 2:62–85, 2009) multiple misrepresentations of the points made in Butcher et al. (Psychol Inj and Law 1(3):191–209, 2008) and identifies eight logical fallacies relevant to the FBS controversy. We end with a challenge to other psychologists to fully examine the underlying FBS research before adopting this scale in their clinical practice.


Bias MMPI-2 Fake Bad Scale FBS Symptom validity Malingering