RAVLT Repetitions and Intrusions

Rey Complex Figure Alternate Forms – Comparison with original
November 22, 2016

RAVLT Repetitions and Intrusions

The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is a popular test of verbal learning in many countries, including in South Africa.  The test itself has been translated into the South African languages of Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

While the test’s primary aim is to assess verbal learning, noting how many errors of repetition (a word that is given more than once in a trial) and intrusion (words given that were not on the list) the client makes is also useful for the assessment of executive functioning.  Little research has been done, though, into how many repetitions and intrusions are “normal”, leading to the psychologist having to make a qualitative judgement in this regard, which is far from satisfactory.

One study has been found that includes norms for repetitions and intrusions, but in practice, the study seems to be too lenient for the South African population in the number of repetitions and intrusions it reports as being “normal”.  While there may have been other studies in this regard, there is a great need for further research into this.

A person wanting to do research on this topic can test several groups of people on the RAVLT and compare the number of repetitions and intrusions each person makes.

Variations on the theme:

  • Compare the errors of children vs. adults
  • Compare the errors of children at different ages
  • Compare the errors of people with executive dysfunction with healthy controls
  • Compare children with ADHD with healthy controls
  • Compare the US sample with a South Africa sample
  • Compare males with females
  • Compare the translated versions (Afrikaans vs. isiXhosa vs. isiZulu vs. the original English)

Please leave a reply/comment below, especially if you are thinking of doing this research.