The issue of malingering is becoming increasingly important in the field of forensic psychology, particularly in cases involving traumatic brain injury, where alleged memory impairment is often used to seek personal compensation or as a defense against prosecution for various types of crimes. The Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) was developed by the author to provide an objective, criterion-based test that is able to discriminate between individuals with bona fide memory impairment and those with feigned symptoms of impaired memory. The acronym TOMM was selected to emphasize that the test was developed with a definite, preconceived notion—to determine whether or not an individual is feigning or malingering a memory impairment. Thus, the TOMM should not be viewed as a malingering test per se.
The TOMM consists of two learning trials and a retention trial. The learning trials consist of a learning phase and a test phase. The study portion of each learning trial contains 50 line-drawn pictures (targets), each presented for 3 seconds with a 1-second interval between pictures. The same 50 pictures are used on each learning trial. However, they are presented in a different order on the second trial. During the test phase, each target is paired with a new line drawing (distractor). The position of the target is counterbalanced for the top and bottom positions. The person is required to select the correct picture (i.e., target) from each panel. For each answer, the examiner provides feedback about the correctness of the response. A delayed retention trial, consisting only of the test phase, is administered approximately 15 to 20 minutes after completion of the two learning trials. The TOMM is available in a computerized as well as a paper-and-pencil format.