Utility of critical items within the Recognition Memory Test and Word Choice Test

Laszlo A Erdodi, Bradley T Tyson, Christopher A Abeare, Brandon G Zuccato, Jaspreet K Rai, Kristian R Seke, Sanya Sagar, Robert M Roth
Applied Neuropsychology. Adult 2018, 25 (4): 327-339
This study was designed to examine the clinical utility of critical items within the Recognition Memory Test (RMT) and the Word Choice Test (WCT). Archival data were collected from a mixed clinical sample of 202 patients clinically referred for neuropsychological testing (54.5% male; mean age = 45.3 years; mean level of education = 13.9 years). The credibility of a given response set was psychometrically defined using three separate composite measures, each of which was based on multiple independent performance validity indicators. Critical items improved the classification accuracy of both tests. They increased sensitivity by correctly identifying an additional 2-17% of the invalid response sets that passed the traditional cutoffs based on total score. They also increased specificity by providing additional evidence of noncredible performance in response sets that failed the total score cutoff. The combination of failing the traditional cutoff, but passing critical items was associated with increased risk of misclassifying the response set as invalid. Critical item analysis enhances the diagnostic power of both the RMT and WCT. Given that critical items require no additional test material or administration time, but help reduce both false positive and false negative errors, they represent a versatile, valuable, and time- and cost-effective supplement to performance validity assessment.


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