Simple real-time computerized tasks for detection of malingering among murderers with schizophrenia

Semion Kertzman*, Haim Grinspan, Moshe Birger, Nina Shliapnikov, Yakov Alish, Zeev Ben Nahum, Roberto Mester, Moshe Kotler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is our contention that computer-based two-alternative forced choice techniques can be useful tools for the detection of patients with schizophrenia who feign acute psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment as opposed to patients with schizophrenia with a true active psychosis. In our experiment, Visual Simple and Choice Reaction Time tasks were used. Reaction time in milliseconds was recorded and accuracy rate was obtained for all subjects' responses. Both types of task were administered to 27 patients with schizophrenia suspected of having committed murder. Patients with schizophrenia who were clinically assessed as malingerers achieved significantly fewer correct results, were significantly slower and less consistent in their reaction time. Congruence of performance between the Simple and Choice tasks was an additional parameter for the accurate diagnosis of malingering. The four parameters of both tests (accuracy of response, reaction time, standard deviation of reaction time and task congruency) are simple and constitute a user-friendly means for the detection of malingering in forensic practice. Another advantage of this procedure is that the software automatically measures and evaluates all the parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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