The objective of this study was to develop and test a brief and unobtrusive instrument to detect exaggeration and simulation in whiplash syndrome. The instrument consists of eight scenarios with ten response options that have to be ordered according to how easy a behavior is to perform. Twenty-five simulating and 25 non-simulating patients with whiplash syndrome of grades 2 and 3 according to the Quebec Task Force classification as well as 25 simulating and 25 non-simulating controls completed the instrument. In a cross-validation study 20 controls and 20 patients participated. Malingering and exaggeration scores were determined for each subject and patient. The scores were summed up and compared across malingering and exaggerating subjects and controls and cut-off values were determined to classify the patients. T-tests and a discriminant analysis were used to determine classification accuracy. The instrument correctly identified 94% of the simulators and 84% of the exaggerators in both samples. This brief and unobtrusive instrument can detect exaggeration and simulation in whiplash syndrome. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.