Reliability and Validity of Ambulatory Cognitive Assessments

Martin J. Sliwinski, Jacqueline A. Mogle, Jinshil Hyun, Elizabeth Munoz, Joshua M. Smyth, Richard B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Mobile technologies are increasingly used to measure cognitive function outside of traditional clinic and laboratory settings. Although ambulatory assessments of cognitive function conducted in people’s natural environments offer potential advantages over traditional assessment approaches, the psychometrics of cognitive assessment procedures have been understudied. We evaluated the reliability and construct validity of ambulatory assessments of working memory and perceptual speed administered via smartphones as part of an ecological momentary assessment protocol in a diverse adult sample (N = 219). Results indicated excellent between-person reliability (≥0.97) for average scores, and evidence of reliable within-person variability across measurement occasions (0.41-0.53). The ambulatory tasks also exhibited construct validity, as evidence by their loadings on working memory and perceptual speed factors defined by the in-lab assessments. Our findings demonstrate that averaging across brief cognitive assessments made in uncontrolled naturalistic settings provide measurements that are comparable in reliability to assessments made in controlled laboratory environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-30
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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