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Many Explanations for Why Patients Overreport Their Symptoms

Some mental health patients report more symptoms than they actually experience and this is often attributed to malingering, when people intentionally inflate their symptoms for some benefit. The assumption that such patients are malingering tends to overshadow alternative explanations, even though research indicates that there are actually multiple pathways that could lead to overreporting. Researcher Harald Merckelbach of Maastricht University and colleagues review the available data and detail some of these alternative explanations in Current Directions in Psychological Science. More