Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Stuart Hall

Commitee Members

Allen Szalda-Petree, David Schuldberg, Bryan Cochran, Annie Sondag


cognitive measures, effort, malingering, MCP, neuropsychology, TOMM


University of Montana


The assessment of client effort during neuropsychological evaluation is of high importance. Two experiments were designed to assess the psychometric properties of a new measure of client effort during neuropsychological assessment (entitled Memory for Complex Pictures (MCP). Participants for Experiment 1 were undergraduates without a history of neurological conditions, mental health concerns, or current problems with alcohol or drug use. Two goals were proposed for Experiment 1: (a) to compare the sensitivity, specificity, and face validity of the MCP with the psychometric characteristics of a frequently-used and well-validated symptom validity test (the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) and b) to examine the influence of type of coaching instructions on the performance of simulated malingerers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: controls, uncoached malingerers (UM), or coached malingerers (CM). All participants were administered one of two symptom validity tests: the MCP or TOMM (order counterbalanced), followed by a brief neuropsychological battery composed of standard cognitive measures. The other symptom validity test followed this battery. Following administration of all tests, participants completed two questionnaires assessing their perception of the purpose of each measure.

Experiment 2 validated the use of the MCP with individuals who had experienced various forms and different severity levels of acquired brain injury. Results from Experiment 1 revealed that controls achieved near-ceiling performance on the MCP, obtaining an average Trial 1 score of 49.15 out of 50 and an average Trial 2 score of 49.67 out of 50. This performance was significantly better than the performance of CM and UM, whose responses differed significantly from each other on Trial 1 but did not differ significantly on Trial 2. Experiment 2 results revealed that mixed-clinical patients not involved in litigation obtained high scores on the MCP, obtaining an average of 44.39 correct responses out of 50 on MCP Trial 1 and an average of 45.78 correct on Trial 2. Results from both experiments lend support for the MCP's potential efficacy as an accurate and brief assessment of client effort during neuropsychological assessment.



© Copyright 2007 John W. DenBoer