Detecting coached neuropsychological dysfunction: a simulation experiment regarding mild traumatic brain injury

Lily Lau, Michael R. Basso, Eduardo Estevis, Ashley Miller, Douglas M. Whiteside, Dennis Combs, Timothy J. Arentsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Performance validity tests (PVTs) and symptom validity tests (SVTs) are often administered during neuropsychological evaluations. Examinees may be coached to avoid detection by measures of response validity. Relatively little research has evaluated whether graduated levels of coaching has differential effects upon PVT and SVT performance. Accordingly, the present experiment evaluated the effect of graduated levels of coaching upon the classification accuracy of commonly used PVTs and SVTs and the currently accepted criterion of failing two or more PVTs or SVTs. Method: Participants simulated symptoms associated with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). One group was provided superficial information concerning cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms. Another group was provided detailed information about such symptoms. A third group was provided detailed information about symptoms and guidance how to evade detection by PVTs. These groups were compared to an honest-responding group. Extending prior experiments, stand-alone and embedded PVT measures were administered in addition to SVTs. Results: The three simulator groups were readily identified by PVTs and SVTs, but a meaningful minority of those provided test-taking strategies eluded detection. The Word Memory Test emerged as the most sensitive indicator of simulated mild TBI symptoms. PVTs achieved more sensitive detection of simulated head injury status than SVTs. Conclusions: Individuals coached to modify test-taking performance were marginally more successful in eluding detection by PVTs and SVTs than those coached with respect to TBI symptoms only. When the criterion of failing two or more PVTs or SVTs was applied, only 5% eluded detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 19 2017

Fingerprint

Test validity
Brain Injuries
Test Taking Skills
Craniocerebral Trauma
Traumatic brain injury
Experiment
Coaching
Performance test
Simulator
Minorities
Simulation
Guidance
Physical
Head injury
Evaluation

Keywords

  • Coaching
  • performance validity tests
  • symptom validity tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Detecting coached neuropsychological dysfunction : a simulation experiment regarding mild traumatic brain injury. / Lau, Lily; Basso, Michael R.; Estevis, Eduardo; Miller, Ashley; Whiteside, Douglas M.; Combs, Dennis; Arentsen, Timothy J.

In: Clinical Neuropsychologist, 19.04.2017, p. 1-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lau, Lily; Basso, Michael R.; Estevis, Eduardo; Miller, Ashley; Whiteside, Douglas M.; Combs, Dennis; Arentsen, Timothy J. / Detecting coached neuropsychological dysfunction : a simulation experiment regarding mild traumatic brain injury.

In: Clinical Neuropsychologist, 19.04.2017, p. 1-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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