Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy - School Psychology


Human Services

First Advisor

Luis E. Aguerrevere, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Frankie Clark, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Nina Ellis-Hervey, Ph.D

Fourth Advisor

Summer Koltonski, Ph.D


Noncredible performance and the intentional faking of symptoms during psychological evaluations have been observed in those seeking to obtain personal benefits. Cognitive deficits, such as impairments in attention are common in mental health settings and many seek an evaluation to rule out an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Previous literature establishes a base rate for malingering to be between 22-47% in adult ADHD evaluations (Sullivan, 2007; Suhr et al., 2008; Marshall et al., 2010). However, those faking or exaggerating ADHD can go unnoticed on self-report measures. There are limited studies that have identified methods that can specifically discriminate true ADHD from malingered ADHD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether attention can be differentiated from effort in the ADHD population, non-ADHD population, and Malingering groups with the use of simple visual Spot the Difference tasks. Results from the study suggest that a pattern of incorrect responses may be displayed by the malingered group, while individuals with ADHD take longer to find an image than those without a reported history of ADHD, particularly on difficult tasks. Overall, results are promising for understanding visual attention reaction patterns in ADHD and one step closer to creating simple, fun tools designed to measure effort.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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