Journal Article

Assessing Planning Ability Across the Adult Life Span: Population-Representative and Age-Adjusted Reliability Estimates for the Tower of London (TOL-F)

Christoph P. Kaller, Rudolf Debelak, Lena Köstering, Johanna Egle, Benjamin Rahm, Philipp S. Wild, Maria Blettner, Manfred E. Beutel and Josef M. Unterrainer

in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology

Volume 31, issue 2, pages 148-164
Published in print March 2016 | ISSN: 0887-6177
Published online December 2015 | e-ISSN: 1873-5843 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acv088
Assessing Planning Ability Across the Adult Life Span: Population-Representative and Age-Adjusted Reliability Estimates for the Tower of London (TOL-F)

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Planning ahead the consequences of future actions is a prototypical executive function. In clinical and experimental neuropsychology, disc-transfer tasks like the Tower of London (TOL) are commonly used for the assessment of planning ability. Previous psychometric evaluations have, however, yielded a poor reliability of measuring planning performance with the TOL. Based on theory-grounded task analyses and a systematic problem selection, the computerized TOL-Freiburg version (TOL-F) was developed to improve the task's psychometric properties for diagnostic applications. Here, we report reliability estimates for the TOL-F from two large samples collected in Mainz, Germany (n = 3,770; 40–80 years) and in Vienna, Austria (n = 830; 16–84 years). Results show that planning accuracy on the TOL-F possesses an adequate internal consistency and split-half reliability (>0.7) that are stable across the adult life span while the TOL-F covers a broad range of graded difficulty even in healthy adults, making it suitable for both research and clinical application.

Keywords: Tower of London; Planning; Problem solving; Reliability; TOL-F

Journal Article.  12599 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience ; Neuropsychology

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