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Performance Validity Testing in Neuropsychology

Methods for Measurement Development and Maximizing Diagnostic Accuracy


Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: May 2017 - Volume 23 - Issue 3 - p 214–220
doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000233

In the first column in this 2-part series, Performance Validity Testing in Neuropsychology: Scientific Basis and Clinical Application—A Brief Review, the authors introduced performance validity tests (PVTs) and their function, provided a justification for why they are necessary, traced their ongoing endorsement by neuropsychological organizations, and described how they are used and interpreted by ever increasing numbers of clinical neuropsychologists. To enhance readers’ understanding of these measures, this second column briefly describes common detection strategies used in PVTs as well as the typical methods used to validate new PVTs and determine cut scores for valid/invalid determinations. We provide a discussion of the latest research demonstrating how neuropsychologists can combine multiple PVTs in a single battery to improve sensitivity/specificity to invalid responding. Finally, we discuss future directions for the research and application of PVTs.

WODUSHEK and GREHER: Guest columnists, Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Please send correspondence to: Thomas R. Wodushek, PhD, ABPP, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 12631 E. 17th Ave, C307, Aurora, CO 80045 (e-mail:

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