California Verbal Learning Test: Features and Uses

Psychological assessment encompasses a wide variety of tests and trials that assess different traits of the person, especially personality and intelligence.

In this article we will know the California Verbal Learning Test, A test that assesses verbal memory and learning ability, developed by Delis, Kramer, Kaplan and Ober in 1987.

This test is a brief technique for evaluating several strategies and processes involved in learning and verbal memory. Outraged, contributes to the diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders secondary to neurological, psychiatric and learning disorders.

    California Verbal Learning Test: General Features

    The California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) (Delis, Kramer, Kaplan & Ober, 1987) is a neuropsychological test used to assess verbal memory and learning ability of somebody. It was validated by Dimey, Matallana and Montañez in 1996.

    More specifically, it also assesses the following aspects: memory, recognition, the effects of serial position (how it affects the order of presentation of words in your memory), learning rate, interference and ‘learning.

    Its application age varies from 5 years to 16 years and 11 monthsAnd its scope concerns people with neurological, psychiatric or learning disabilities.

    The California Verbal Learning Test is guided by a methodology for interpreting data based on memory models called “multi-storage”. In addition, it is a test which presents an ecological aspect when presenting the lists to be memorized in the form of “shopping lists”, as we will see later.

    Test administration

    California Verbal Learning Test Administration lasts about 35 minutes (Although this varies), and is administered individually.

    First, the examiner reads aloud a shopping list, called a “Monday shopping list”. The list contains 16 common words, each of which belongs to one of 4 categories; this way there are 4 herbs, 4 fruits, etc.

    The subject is then asked remember as many words as possible. Distracting tasks to assess interference are also included later, along with other lists. Let’s see in detail:

    Test components

    First, the examiner records the number of words the subject remembers after performing several tests. It also records whether the subject uses information from each category.In other words, whether the subject grouped the words into categories or not.

    The examiner then reads a second list, “Tuesday’s shopping list,” and then checks if the subject is able to remember and keep the items on each list separately, or if they are confusing or mixing the two lists.

    Finally, the examiner has 20 minutes to complete other tasks (“distracting tasks”), then asks the subject again for the 16 words from the first list. like that, interference is also evaluated.

    In addition to the annotated free memory tests, the California Verbal Learning Test includes two semantic key memory tests, which are presented immediately after the short-term and long-term free memory tests, respectively.

      Test results

      In the application of the California Verbal Learning Test, it was observed as in general women tend to group more into categories than men. On the other hand, patients with different types of lesions or brain disorders have shown certain performance patterns.

      For example, patients with Alzheimer’s disease they tend to have more difficulty grouping themselves by category, and they hardly ever do (eg, they say “oranges, apples, grapes and fish”). Parkinson’s disease patients, on the other hand, tend to make repetitive mistakes (eg, they say “apples, oranges, bananas, oranges”).

      Spanish version of the California Verbal Learning Test: TAVEC

      The Spanish adaptation of CVLT is the Spain-Complutense Verbal Learning Test (TAVEC), prepared by María Jesús Benedet and María Ángeles Alejandre in 1998 (with its last version in 2014). TAVEC explores, like the California Verbal Learning Test, verbal memory and learning.

      The TAVEC contains three lists of items that can be grouped into 4 categories to assess learning, interference and recognition.

      The test makes it possible to determine the “normality” of the subject, by comparing him to a sample similar in terms of age, sex and level of education. It also describes how your memory system works (it is based on the theories of modularity of the mind). In addition, it determines the form and reason for the deviation, if any, and provides indicators on possible suspicions of dementia.

      Technically, its administration lasts about 40 minutes (similar to the California Verbal Learning Test); it is also individually applicable and the target population consists of adolescents and adults with and without brain damage (from 16 years of age).

      Bibliographical references:

      • Delis, DC, Kramer, JH, Kaplan, E., & Ober, BA (1987) Verbal learning test in California. Research Editing Manual. New York: Psychological Society.
      • Buela-Casal, G .; Serra, JC (1997). Manual of psychological assessment. 21st century ed. Madrid.
      • Benedet, MJ and Alejandre, MA (2014). TAVEC. Spain-Complutense verbal learning test. Madrid: TEA Publishing.

      Leave a Comment