Why are neuropsychologists so reluctant to embrace modern assessment techniques?

Clin Neuropsychol. 2019 Feb;33(2):209-219. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2018.1523468. Epub 2019 Jan 12.


Objective: Computerized tests and use of the internet offer many opportunities for improvement of neuropsychological assessment over traditional paper-and-pencil tests. Nevertheless, many clinical neuropsychologists are conservative in their choice of tests when assessing patients; the majority still seems to prefer using well-established paper-and-pencil tests.

Method: This deliberately one-sided opinion paper discusses several reasons that may explain the reluctance to embrace modern techniques. These reasons are of a psychometric, technical, theoretical, and strategic nature.

Conclusions: A range of issues regarding each of these reasons need to be solved before digital assessment techniques can fulfill their promises. In the meantime, it seems wise to be cautious, and to be critical in adopting the digital assessment techniques.

Keywords: Computer tests; paper-and-pencil tests; psychometric properties.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Data Collection / standards
  • Data Collection / trends
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Humans
  • Internet / standards
  • Internet / trends*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests* / standards
  • Neuropsychology / standards
  • Neuropsychology / trends*
  • Psychometrics