Response time (RT) is a less obvious outcome measure than conventional accuracy measures used in performance validity tests (PVTs). It is also under less conscious control and is affected by cognitive processes associated with deception. Studies that assessed the utility of RT for the detection of feigned cognitive impairment are however numbered. Moreover, RT variability was not assessed in a clinically used PVT. In the current study, we assessed the utility of RT measures for the detection of feigned cognitive impairment in the Word Memory Test (WMT). Healthy participants (N = 90) were randomly assigned to a simulation or control condition and their per-item RTs were recorded while they performed the WMT’s immediate recognition (IR) subtest. Simulators had longer mean RTs and larger RT variance than controls. Combining RT measures and the IR-subtest’s accuracy score enabled a highly accurate detection of simulators. Moreover, the combined scale demonstrated incremental value (though slight) in predicting group membership beyond the use of the accuracy score as the sole PVT measure. The findings tentatively point toward the usefulness of RT measures to enhance the detection of feigned cognitive impairment. Further studies are needed, however, in order to explore the utility of these measures in clinical settings.
- Word Memory Test (WMT)
- performance validity test (PVT)
- response time
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology