Standardized item selection for alternate computerized versions of Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test(-based) word lists.



We identified 13 relevant word selection criteria. The criteria led to two new highly comparable American-English word lists with lower trial scores compared to the original American-English list, indicating that the criteria helped to develop parallel lists with fewer associations between items. The new Dutch word list showed similar trial scores, serial position effects, and proportions of correct responses per item corrected for serial position compared to the original Dutch version.


Despite an increasing need for new Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT)-based word lists in computerized testing, no criteria or standardized procedures exist for its development. To lay a foundation for future development of new and alternate computerized RAVLT(-based) word lists, we present cross-lingual word criteria, developed new lists using the criteria and evaluated performance on the lists using online assessment.


Based on psycholinguistic literature, we identified relevant word selection criteria. To validate the criteria, we developed two new American-English word lists and one new Dutch list, and administered the RAVLT using visual presentation of the new or original list in an online American (n = 248) and Dutch sample (n = 246) of healthy people. We compared performance of the new and original word lists on trial scores and serial position effects using Bayesian correlations and analyses of variance. Additionally, we compared proportions of correct responses per item, corrected for serial position.


The systematic use of word selection criteria can facilitate development of new parallel word lists, including in new language areas. Future studies should evaluate the use of the word criteria for the other sections of the RAVLT (such as delayed recall and recognition), performance using original test modalities (auditory presentation and recall of words) as well as performance in clinical samples.

More about this publication

Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology
  • Volume 44
  • Issue nr. 9
  • Pages 681-701
  • Publication date 01-11-2022

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