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Thesis

Measuring Sub-Optimal Effort With the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) In a Non-Litigating Adult Population

17 April 2009

Abstract

Research estimates the base rate of suboptimal effort during neuropsychological evaluation ranges from 15 % to 47 % in various clinical populations. Suboptimal effort is fairly coinmon in litigating and forensic popUlations. However, the base rate of suboptimal effort in neuropsychological evaluations for academic or cognitive problems is still largely unknown. The objective of the present study was to begin to establish the base rate of suboptimal effort in neuropsychological evaluations for academic purposes. The Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) was administered to 30 adults who were evaluated for academic arid cognitive problems in a university clinical psychology training and research clinic. Seventeen percent of the sample scored in the range indicative of suboptimal effort. This indicates that effort should be routinely assessed when doing neuropsychological evaluations for academic purposes. Furthermore, the findings suggest that both cutoff scores and patterns of performance on the MSVT should be considered when determining whether an individual ,provided sufficient effort during testing.


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