First Advisor

Bardos, Achilles N

Second Advisor

Dunn, Thomas M

Document Type


Date Created



Psychological assessment is predicated on the assumption that the subject is putting forth maximum effort during testing. When the individual fails to do so, it is known as response bias. The assessment of response bias is an area of research that has garnered attention in psychology because of the implications it has on psychological evaluation validity. This study examined the assessment of effort and response bias through two means, observationally and objectively, with confederates who were instructed to put forth their best effort or suboptimal effort. While being video recorded, confederates were administered a commonly used cognitive task along with two well established tests of effort. The videos were then viewed by graduate students in psychology and the perceived effort by the undergraduate confederates was then rated using a Likert-type scale, a dichotomous rating scale, and a single open-ended question. Similarly to previous research, participants had difficulty in accurately detecting suboptimal effort. More specifically, results illustrated that the ratings had a high level of misclassification of suboptimal effort but accurately identified all confederates putting forth adequate effort. Discriminant analysis of the results showed a marginal increase in accuracy in the detection of suboptimal effort in comparison to chance probability. These results are discussed within the context of psychological evaluations within the school setting, with a focus on the importance of validity of the data ascertained within evaluations as well as current training programs.

Abstract Format



Response Bias; Suboptimal Effort; Psychological evaluation; Psychological tests; Psychodiagnostics


134 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by author.