Standard computerized version of the Reading Span Test in different languages

Research Area: Research Year: 2008
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Reading Span Test, verbal working memory, methodology, reliability, validity
Authors: Van Den Noort, M; Bosch, P; Havekort, M; Hugdahl, Kenneth
The Reading Span Test (RST) is a verbal working-memory test. The original RST (Daneman & Carpenter, 1980), and derivatives of it, are being used increasingly as assessments of central executive functioning and for research on aging-associated cognitive decline (Whitney, Arnett, Driver, & Budd, 2001). Several versions have been made in order to further improve the test or to develop a version in a different language. However, all versions changed different things, making direct comparisons of the results with the RST between different research groups and across different languages impossible. This paper presents the results of testing a new standard computerized version of the RST in four languages (Dutch, English, German, and Norwegian). The new RST meets strict methodological criteria that are the same for all four language versions. A plausibility test, an abstract-concrete rating scale, and a pilot-study were conducted on native speakers to test the new RST. In addition, the internal and external reliability and the ecological validity of the new RST were tested. The results showed that the new RST is a suitable test to investigate verbal working memory. Finally, an important advantage of the new RST is that the different language versions make cross-linguistic comparisons of RST results possible.
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