Early bird fails the PVT? The effects of timing artifacts on performance validity tests.

This study was designed to investigate the effects of timing on the likelihood of failing the Recognition Memory Test–Words (RMT) and Word Choice Test (WCT). The RMT and WCT were administered in counterbalanced order either at the beginning (Time 1) or at the end (Time 2) of a test battery to a mixed clinical sample of 196 patients (Mage = 44.5 years, 55.1% female) medically referred for neuropsychological evaluation. The risk of failing the accuracy score was higher at Time 1 on both the RMT (relative risk [RR]: 1.44–1.64) and the WCT (RR: 1.21–1.50) across a range of cutoffs. Likewise, the risk of failing the time-to-completion score was higher at Time 1 on both the RMT (RR: 1.30–1.94) and the WCT (RR: 1.58–3.75). Established cutoffs failed to reach specificity standards at Time 1; more liberal cutoffs cleared specificity thresholds at Time 2. According to our findings, the RMT and WCT may be prone to false-positive errors at Time 1. Conversely, when administered at Time 2, existing cutoffs may have lower sensitivity, but they are highly specific to invalid performance. Timing should be considered during both test selection and the interpretation of RMT and WCT scores. Using conservative cutoffs for morning administrations and liberal cutoffs for afternoon administrations may be necessary to neutralize timing artifacts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)