Title

Does the Internet Represent a Threat to the Security of Symptom Validity Tests?

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Objective: Previous research has shown that there is a variable amount of information on Internet sites about symptom validity tests (SVTs) that threaten the security and validity of these measures. However, this work was conducted a number of years ago (Bauer & McCaffrey, 2006; Ruiz, Drake, Glass, Marcotte, & van Gorp, 2002). Given the continued advances in technology and Internet services, the goal of the present study was to examine the current level of threat to SVT security posed by Internet sites.

Methods: Internet searches using Google were performed for two SVTs: Word Memory Test (WMT) and the Computerized Assessment of Response Bias (CARB.) The name of each test was entered into the search engine and the first 25 links were examined. The websites were classified into four levels of test security threat: No Threat, Low Threat, Moderate Threat, or High Threat using criteria consistent with previous research.

Results: For the WMT, 24% of the sites were determined to be No Threat, 36% were Low Threat, 28% were Moderate Threat, and 12% were High Threat. For the CARB, 24% of the sites were determined to be No Threat, 20% were Low Threat, 48% were Moderate Threat, and 12% were High Threat.

Conclusions: Compared to previous research, these data indicate an alarming increase in the number of Internet sites that contain content that threatens the test security of the SVTs investigated. For the WMT, increases were found at every level of threat severity. For the CARB, a troubling percentage of sites that threatened test security where also found. There were interesting differences between the two measures in terms of the severity of threat. Specifically, 40% of the results were of moderate or high threat for the WMT, while 60% were of moderate or high threat for the CARB.

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:00 PM

Does the Internet Represent a Threat to the Security of Symptom Validity Tests?

UC Ballroom

Objective: Previous research has shown that there is a variable amount of information on Internet sites about symptom validity tests (SVTs) that threaten the security and validity of these measures. However, this work was conducted a number of years ago (Bauer & McCaffrey, 2006; Ruiz, Drake, Glass, Marcotte, & van Gorp, 2002). Given the continued advances in technology and Internet services, the goal of the present study was to examine the current level of threat to SVT security posed by Internet sites.

Methods: Internet searches using Google were performed for two SVTs: Word Memory Test (WMT) and the Computerized Assessment of Response Bias (CARB.) The name of each test was entered into the search engine and the first 25 links were examined. The websites were classified into four levels of test security threat: No Threat, Low Threat, Moderate Threat, or High Threat using criteria consistent with previous research.

Results: For the WMT, 24% of the sites were determined to be No Threat, 36% were Low Threat, 28% were Moderate Threat, and 12% were High Threat. For the CARB, 24% of the sites were determined to be No Threat, 20% were Low Threat, 48% were Moderate Threat, and 12% were High Threat.

Conclusions: Compared to previous research, these data indicate an alarming increase in the number of Internet sites that contain content that threatens the test security of the SVTs investigated. For the WMT, increases were found at every level of threat severity. For the CARB, a troubling percentage of sites that threatened test security where also found. There were interesting differences between the two measures in terms of the severity of threat. Specifically, 40% of the results were of moderate or high threat for the WMT, while 60% were of moderate or high threat for the CARB.