by Michael Schmidt, PhD, ABPP, ABPN
Purpose: Evaluate verbal learning and memory
Age: 7 through to 89 years
Time: Less than 5 minutes
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)
Originally developed in the 1940s, the RAVLT has evolved over the years, and several variations of the test have emerged. The RAVLT is useful in evaluating verbal learning and memory, including proactive inhibition, retention, encoding versus retrieval, and subjective organisation. The comprehensive handbook for the RAVLT contains everything you need to know about this widely used neuropsychological test. The handbook includes more than a dozen variations: test forms and stimulus sheets of various lengths, in various languages, using various recognition and recall strings.
The standard RAVLT format starts with a list of 15 words, which the examiner reads aloud at the rate of one word per second. The test-taker's task is to repeat all the words he or she can remember, in any order. This procedure is carried out a total of five times. Then, the examiner presents a second list of 15 words, allowing the test-taker only one attempt at recall. Immediately following this, the individual is asked to remember as many words as possible from the first list.
The RAVLT is useful in evaluating verbal learning and memory, including proactive inhibition, retroactive inhibition, retention, encoding versus retrieval, and subjective organisation. Because the test is brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and appropriate for children, adolescents, and adults ages 7-89 years, it has gained widespread acceptance. However, until now, comprehensive data about the RAVLT norms, validity studies, different administration and scoring procedures, etc., have been scattered in various sources.
This handbook describes the test, its development, and its uses including the following topics:
- Administration and Scoring
- Selecting Norms
- Selecting an Appropriate Form
- A Review of RAVLT Norms
- Moderator Variables (Age, Education, Intelligence, Gender, Ethnicity, Culture, and Clinical Diagnosis)
- Impaired Motivation and Malingering
- Alternate Forms and Test-Retest Comparisons
- Reliability and Validity
Appendices include test form and stimulus sheets, supplementary scores and indexes, and conversion tables for obtaining z scores, T scores, standard scores, and approximate percentiles. In addition, a 4-page Record Sheet and Score Summary, available with the Handbook or separately, allows you to quickly organise and record RAVLT special scores and indexes