Reliability of two social cognition tests: The combined stories test and the social knowledge test

Psychiatry Res. 2018 Apr;262:63-69. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.01.026. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


Deficits in social cognition are common in psychiatric disorders. Validated social cognition measures with good psychometric properties are necessary to assess and target social cognitive deficits. Two recent social cognition tests, the Combined Stories Test (COST) and the Social Knowledge Test (SKT), respectively assess theory of mind and social knowledge. Previous studies have shown good psychometric properties for these tests, but the test-retest reliability has never been documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate the test-retest reliability and the inter-rater reliability of the COST and the SKT. The COST and the SKT were administered twice to a group of forty-two healthy adults, with a delay of approximately four weeks between the assessments. Excellent test-retest reliability was observed for the COST, and a good test-retest reliability was observed for the SKT. There was no evidence of practice effect. Furthermore, an excellent inter-rater reliability was observed for both tests. This study shows a good reliability of the COST and the SKT that adds to the good validity previously reported for these two tests. These good psychometrics properties thus support that the COST and the SKT are adequate measures for the assessment of social cognition.

Keywords: Inter-rater reliability; Psychometric properties; Test-retest reliability.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Psychometrics / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Behavior*
  • Theory of Mind*
  • Young Adult