Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures

A Symptom Validity Test Using Incidental Recognition for WAIS-3 Similarities Items

Event Name/Location

25th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology

Event Location / Date(s)

Tampa, FL / October 19-22, 2005

Presentation Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Objective: Incidental recall of information used during a problem solving task is relatively insensitive to reduced motivation due to depression, and recognition tasks are relatively unaffected by memory impairment. This study validated a new test designed to identify intentional memory difficulties using incidental recognition for Similarities word pairs.

Method:Recognition items were created by pairing Similarities words with incorrect semantically or phonemically related alternatives. The 38-item forced choice test required recognition of the Similarities items immediately after the subtest (e.g., orange or juice?) and again following Block Design (e.g., apple or orange?). The test was administered to 56 nonlitigants with TBI (n = 24), dementia (n = 18), CVA (n = 7), and other disorders. Patients had significant immediate memory impairment on the HVLTR or Logical Memory (mean = 35T) and reduced FSIQ (mean = 89). Thirty-four individuals instructed to malinger cognitive impairment for financial compensation, and four litigants that failed the TOMM also completed incidental recognition.

Results: Patients accurately recognized an average of 89% immediate, 92% of delayed, and 90% of total items. Malingerers were significantly less accurate, with 62% immediate, 58% delayed, and 60% total items correct. A cutoff of 75% correct accurately identified 87% of the validation sample and all four litigants. Scores that were lower than those obtained by any patient with neurological disorder were obtained by 47% of malingerers on delayed or total recognition. Three of four litigants scored more poorly than any patients.

Conclusions: Incidental recognition of Similarities items may identify exaggerated memory difficulty. Copies of this brief test will be provided.

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