Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 282–291

A Conceptual and Empirical Review of 25 Years of Cognitive Assessment Using the Articulated Thoughts in Simulated Situations (ATSS) Think-Aloud Paradigm

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10608-009-9271-9

Cite this article as:
Zanov, M.V. & Davison, G.C. Cogn Ther Res (2010) 34: 282. doi:10.1007/s10608-009-9271-9


The present paper is a conceptual analysis and empirical review of research using the Articulated Thoughts in Simulated Situations (Davison et al. in Cogn Ther Res 7(1): 17–39, 1983) paradigm, a think-aloud cognitive assessment approach that is intended to capture ongoing thinking in an analogue, controlled environment of considerable interpersonal complexity. From an examination of over 25 years of the paradigm’s usage and in light of comments from scores of ATSS users, we have expanded upon and updated an earlier review (Davison et al. in J Consult Clin Psychol 65(6): 950–958, 1997). In addition to an empirical update, we describe the ATSS in greater methodological and psychometric detail, highlight its strengths and discuss its weaknesses, address some practical concerns, and comment on the evidence accumulated from the close to 70 studies employing the paradigm. We conclude that the ATSS paradigm is useful in assessing complex cognitions in a variety of investigator-controlled situations.


Articulated Thoughts in Simulated SituationsATSSClinical assessmentCognitive assessmentThink-aloud

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Air ForceMental Health ClinicAvianoItaly
  2. 2.Leonard Davis School of GerontologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA