Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 60 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Robert J McCaffrey

Committee Members

Julie K Lynch, Drew A Anderson


Clinical Neuropsychology, Forensic Neuropsychology, Performance Validity, Recognition Memory, Test Construction, Interference (Perception), Memory, Neuropsychological tests, Psychological tests, Performance

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Performance validity is an essential component of neuropsychological assessment. Research suggests that examinees with specific neurological conditions cannot successfully complete certain performance validity tests (PVTs). However, very little basic research has explored the information processing underlying performance on PVTs that might explain why these examinees fail certain PVTs. The current study used a dual task interference paradigm to isolate the impact of reducing conscious recollection on the performance of three PVTs, the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Victoria Symptom Validity Test (VSVT), and Word Memory Test (WMT). One-hundred-and-twenty-six non-clinical undergraduate research participants were administered these three PVTs as part of a larger test battery under conditions of no interference, learning phase interference, and learning and test phase interference. Results indicated that raw scores diminished and failure rates increased on all three PVTs with the introduction of interference. Comparisons among PVT raw scores suggested that the VSVT was most susceptible to interference and the TOMM the least. In contrast, comparisons among failure rates suggested that the WMT exhibited the largest increase in failure rates in interference conditions and the TOMM the least increase. Use of the genuine memory impairment profile substantially reduced the failure rate of the WMT from 52% to 24% in the learning and test phase interference condition, bringing the failure rate of the WMT intermediate to that of the TOMM (17%) and the VSVT (33%). The current results suggest that conscious recollection is necessary to successfully complete the TOMM, VSVT, and WMT.