Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

Dot Counting Test

  • Brad MerkerEmail author
  • Melissa Wingate
  • Kenneth Podell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_173




The Dot Counting Test (DCT) is a performance validity test (PVT), i.e., a test designed to detect malingered cognitive difficulties. It was originally developed in 1941 by Andre Rey. Examinees are shown a series of 12 cards (usually 3 × 5″) on which are printed dots 1/16th of an inch in diameter. Each of the first six cards contains an odd number of randomly arranged dots (ungrouped), while the final six cards show an even number of dots (one more than each corresponding card from the first six) arranged in an organized pattern (grouped). The task requires examinees to count the dots as quickly as possible by the fastest means possible. Both time to completion and errors are recorded. It is expected that cooperative examinees will count grouped dots more quickly and accurately than ungroupeddots. Therefore, suspect effort is identified when the number of errors is higher for the grouped dot condition or when the time taken to count grouped dots is equal to or...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Boone, K. B., Lu, P., Back, C., King, C., Lee, A., Philpott, L., et al. (2002a). Sensitivity and specificity of the Rey dot counting test in patients with suspect effort and various clinical samples. Achieves of Clinical Neuropsychology, 17, 625–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boone, K. B., Lu, P., & Herzberg, D. (2002b). The dot counting test. Los Angeles: Western Psycholoigcal Services.Google Scholar
  3. Frederick, R. I. (2002). A review of Rey’s strategies for detecting malingered neuropsychological impairment. Journal of Forensic Neuropsychology, 2, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Frederick, R. I., Sarafaty, S. D., Johnston, J. D., & Powel, J. (1994). Validation of a detector response bias on a forced-choice test of non-verbal ability. Neuropsychology, 8, 118–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lee, I., Boone, K. B., Lesser, I., Wohl, M., Wilkins, S., & Parks, C. (2000). Performance of older depressed patients on two cognitive malingering tests: False positive rates for the Rey 15-item memorization and dot counting tests. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 14, 303–308.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., & Loring, D. W. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Martin, R. C., Hayes, J. S., & Gouvier, W. D. (1996). Differential vulnerability between postconcussion self-report and objective malingering tests in identifying simulated mild head injury. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 18, 265–275.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Nelson, N. W., Boone, K., Dueck, A., Wagener, L., Lu, P., & Grills, C. (2003). Relationships between eight measures of suspect effort. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 17, 263–272.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Paul, D., Franzen, M. D., Cohen, S. H., & Fremouw, W. (1992). An investigation into the reliability and validity of two tests used in the detection of dissimulation. International Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, 14, 1–9.Google Scholar
  10. Rambo, P. L., Callahan, J. L., Hogan, L. R., Hullmann, S., & Wrape, E. (2015). Effort testing in children: Can cognitive and symptom validity measures differentiate malingered performances? Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 4, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Robles, L., Lopez, E., Salazar, X., Boone, K. B., & Glaser, D. F. (2015). Specificity data for the b test, dot counting test, Rey-15 item plus recognition, and Rey word recognition test in monolingual Spanish-speakers. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 37, 614–621.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Rose, F. E., Hall, S., & Szalda-Petree, A. D. (1998). A comparison of four tests of malingering and the effects of coaching. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 13, 349–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rudman, N., Oyebode, J. R., Jones, C. A., & Bentham, P. (2011). An investigation into the validity of effort tests in a working age dementia population. Aging & Mental Health, 13, 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Vasserman, M., Maiman, M., Fernando, H., & MacAllister, W. (2015). The dot counting test: Is it effective in clinical pediatric populations? Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 20, 46–59.Google Scholar
  15. Vickery, C. D., Berry, D. T. R., Hanlon Iman, T., Harris, M. J., & Orey, S. A. (2001). Detection of inadequate effort on neuropsychological testing: A meta-analytic review of selected procedures. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 16, 454–473.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Henry Ford Health SystemsDetroitUSA
  2. 2.NeuropsychologyThe Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Houston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA