The culture of time in neuropsychological assessment Public Deposited

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  • July 11, 2018
  • Agranovich, Anna V.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • This study examines the relationship between attitudes toward time and performance on timed neuropsychological tests. Numerous publications indicated presence of cultural differences in attitudes toward time, but no published research yet addressed the challenges that individuals from cultures dissimilar to that of test-makers may face in formal testing due to cultural variations in time attitudes. To assess and compare attitudes toward time and being timed when tested, a measure of time attitudes relevant to timed test performance, Culture of Time Inventory- 33 items (COTI-33), was developed and validated in English and Russian, using 560 American and 517 Russian respondents. A stable and very similar five-factor model emerged across samples, revealing the following dimensions of time attitudes: (1) planning; (2) punctuality; (3) time management; (4) event-time orientation; and (5) attitudes to time-limited tests. COTI-33 was established to have high construct and discriminant validity and reliability. Subsequently, a 100 Russian and American adults completed COTI-33 along with a battery of timed neuropsychological tests, including: Color Trails Test (CTT): Parts 1 and 2; Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT); Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT); and Tower of London-Drexel Edition (ToLDx). The American group significantly outscored the Russian group on CTT1, CTT2, SDMT, and ToLDx initiation time. The difference in ToLDx Total time and RFFT only approached significance at α =.05. The presence of cultural differences contradicted previously reported culture-fairness of these tests. Cultural differences also emerged in COTI-33 factor scores, where Americans rated Planning and Punctuality significantly higher than Russians. The differences in time attitudes partially mediated cultural differences in performance on CTT1, SDMT, and ToLDx initiation time, but did not account for the effect of culture in CTT2. In addition, significant effect of culture was revealed in ratings of familiarity with testing procedures, where a half of the Russian sample endorsed the lack of prior experience with timed and/or standardized tests. Familiarity with standardized testing was negatively related to the scores on CTT, ToLDx, and SDMT, suggesting that individuals who lack familiarity with standardized testing procedures tend to obtain lower scores on these times neuropsychological measures.
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  • Panter, A. T.
  • Open access

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