Amsterdam Short-Term Memory test: a new procedure for the detection of feigned memory deficits

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1997 Feb;19(1):43-51. doi: 10.1080/01688639708403835.


The validity of two malingering tests, the newly developed Amsterdam Short-Term Memory (ASTM) test and the Distraction test (Baker, Hanley, Jackson, Kimmance, & Slade, 1993) was examined in a group of patients with closed-head injury (CHI), a normal control group, and a control group with instruction to feign memory deficits. Both control groups consisted of first-degree relatives of the patients. The ASTM test is a forced-choice verbal memory test, based on the technique of symptom validity testing. Stimulus material was chosen from category norms and chance level is not transparent. The CHI and normal control groups scored near ceiling on the ASTM test, whereas the feigned deficit group scored significantly worse. The ASTM test classified all subjects correctly. Contrary to expectation, the Distraction test appeared to be invalid. The score profiles of the CHI and feigning groups on conventional memory and concentration tests were indistinguishable from each other. Thus, the ASTM test may be very useful for the detection of malingering and other kinds of less than optimal performance. The test may readily be constructed in any language for which category norms are available.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / psychology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests