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A Single Error Is One Too Many: The Forced Choice Recognition Trial of the CVLT-II as a Measure of Performance Validity in Adults with TBI

Laszlo A Erdodi, Christopher A Abeare, Brent Medoff, Kristian R Seke, Sanya Sagar, Ned L Kirsch
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology: the Official Journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists 2017 December 26
29293900

Objective: The Forced Choice Recognition (FCR) trial of the California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II) was designed to serve as a performance validity test (PVT). The present study was designed to compare the classification accuracy of a more liberal alternative (≤15) to the de facto FCR cutoff (≤14).

Method: The classification accuracy of the two cutoffs was computed in reference to psychometrically defined invalid performance, across various criterion measures, in a sample of 104 adults with TBI clinically referred for neuropsychological assessment.

Results: The FCR was highly predictive (AUC: .71-.83) of Pass/Fail status on reference PVTs, but unrelated to performance on measures known to be sensitive to TBI. On average, FCR ≤15 correctly identified an additional 6% of invalid response sets compared to FCR ≤14, while maintaining .92 specificity. Patients who failed the FCR reported higher levels of emotional distress.

Conclusions: Results suggest that even a single error on the FCR is a reliable indicator of invalid responding. Further research is needed to investigate the clinical significance of the relationship between failing the FCR and level of self-reported psychiatric symptoms.

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