Neuropsychology Review

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 173–201

The California Verbal Learning Test: Psychometric characteristics and clinical application

  • Richard W. Elwood

DOI: 10.1007/BF02214761

Cite this article as:
Elwood, R.W. Neuropsychol Rev (1995) 5: 173. doi:10.1007/BF02214761


The California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) is a popular clinical and research test that claims to measure key constructs in cogntive psychology such as repetition learning, serial position effects, semantic organization, intrusion, and proactive inteference. The psychometric characteristics of the CVLT are reviewed and related to the test's clinical utility. The utility of the CVLT is shown to be limited by its poor standardization and inlated norms. Further, the validity is limited because the CVLT uses multiple trials whereas the constructs it purports to the CVLT and guidelines for its clinical use. It concludes that if the limitations of the CVLT are recognized, it can still make a usefull contribution to the clinical assessment of verbal learning and memory.

Key Words

California Verbal Learning Testneuropsychological testmemorylearning

Copyright information

© Pleneum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Elwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Affairs Medical CenterTomah