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Secondary Gain

Secondary gain is the reward incentivizing an individual to be deemed medically, psychologically, or cognitively impaired. As it is the motivator in the environment, not the behavior or the disposition, secondary gain is not a diagnosis or a symptom. It does, however, have important implications for clinicians. This entry discusses the systems for classifying secondary gain, internal versus external gain, and the tools for checking validity.

Confusion may arise for those researching secondary gain because, like many constructs in psychology, it has been conceptualized differently over the years and classified using different distinctions. The three most common systems of classification are as follows: (1) differentiate between internal and external secondary gain; (2) differentiate between primary, secondary, and tertiary gains; and (3) ignore such distinctions and ...

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