PAR author David J. Schretlen, PhD, will be giving a workshop at the annual conference of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) in Washington, D.C., on June 9, 2011. Dr Schretlen’s workshop, entitled “Threats to the Validity of Inference in Neuropsychology and Novel Methods of Practice to Help Overcome Them,” will encourage participants to consider fundamental questions about inference in clinical psychology:
- How do we decide when a neuropsychological examination is abnormal?
- What constitutes “impaired” test performance?
- When does a set of abnormal test scores represent a clinically meaningful pattern?
Dr. Schretlen will describe three basic approaches to clinical inference (pathological signs, deficit measurement, and pattern analysis) and examine the underlying logical assumptions, implementation, strengths, and threats to the validity of each inferential method. Participants will examine the conceptualization and assessment of pathognomonic signs and cognitive deficits and will discuss the risky practice of sysgiving additional tests to clarify ambiguous findings. Dr. Schretlen will describe what it means to “calibrate” test performance for demographic characteristics and estimated premorbid ability, and how this fundamentally alters the meaning of high and low test scores. Participants will learn about the circumstances under which raw scores can be more informative than demographically calibrated scores. Finally, Dr. Schretlen will argue that symptom validity testing differs from effort testing, and he will present findings from an experiment designed to assess cognitive effort among adults with no incentive to feign impairment and no evidence of symptom exaggeration.
Dr. Schretlen is Associate Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the author of the Calibrated Neuropsychological Normative System™ (CNNS™) and the companion Software Portfolio (CNNS™-SP), which are designed to assist clinicians and researchers in their interpretation of the tests that make up the normative system. To learn more about how to improve the precision of neuropsychological test interpretation with the CNNS and to see a list of tests calibrated by the CNNS, visit www.parinc.com.
In January, The Clinical Neuropsychologist (TCN) and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) released the results of the TCN/AACN 2010 Salary Survey. Doctoral-level members of the AACN, members of Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA), members of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, and other neuropsychologists were invited to participate in a web-based survey to learn more about their beliefs, their income, and their practice.
The following are just some of the findings that were released in the January issue of The Clinical Neuropsychologist.
- The field of neuropsychology continues to see increasing numbers of women joining the profession – 7 out of 10 current postdoctoral residents are women. Furthermore, for the first time ever, more than half of the total respondents to the TCN/AACN survey were female.
- Substantial numbers of young psychologists are entering the field of neuropsychology. The median age of APA members has been above 50 since the early 1990s, while the current median age of clinical neuropsychologists remains at 47 and has stayed relatively unchanged since 1989.
- Neuropsychologists are preferring to use flexible battery assessments rather than fixed or standardized batteries. The flexible battery approach is continuing to see an upswing in popularity while the use of fixed batteries are on the decline.
- Clinical neuropsychologists specializing in pediatrics are more likely than others to work part time, are more likely to be women, are more likely to work in institution settings, and also report lower incomes than respondents who see only adult clients or a combination of adult and pediatric clients.
- Incomes are dependent on number of years in clinical practice, work setting, amount of forensic practice, and location (state and/or region of the country), and can vary considerably. However, according to survey data, job satisfaction has little relationship to income and is comparable across the variables of work setting, professional identity, and amount of forensic activity.
- Neuropsychologists report higher job satisfaction than that reported for other jobs in the U.S. Fewer than 5% of respondents are considering changing job position.
Are you a neuropsychologist? Do you agree or disagree with these findings? Comment on this posting and let us know!
For the full results of this survey, see: Sweet, J. , Meyer, D., Giuffre , N., Nathaniel W., and Moberg, P. J. (2011). The TCN/AACN 2010 “Salary Survey”: Professional Practices, Beliefs, and Incomes of U.S. Neuropsychologists. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 25, 12-61.