Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Third Party Observer

  • Robert L. HeilbronnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1031


Third party observer (TPO) effects refer to the influence of an observer’s presence on human behavior, more specifically, to the potential negative effects that a present third party may have on the process, results, and outcome of a neuropsychological assessment. Previous studies of social facilitation have demonstrated that an observer improves performance on easy or well-learned tasks and diminishes performance on complex or novel tasks. The presence of a third party can also create the potential for distraction and/or interruption of the examination (McCaffrey et al. 1996). A second issue that relates to the potential influence of the presence of a third party observer is the reliance upon normative data. Neuropsychological test measures have not been standardized in the presence of an observer. In fact, neuropsychological test measures have been (or should be) standardized under a specific set of highly controlled circumstances that did not include the presence of a...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chicago Neuropsychology GroupChicagoUSA