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Shugars, Sara L (2007) A FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING: THE HAMBURGER TURNING TASK. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The number of neuropsychological tests and functional assessments that claim to have a relationship between the patient's testing performance and behavior in real-world settings is limited. Additionally, there is a growing concern among testing professionals that most, if not all, psychological tests and standardized assessments introduce environments and stimuli that people never encounter and tasks that often do not emulate life situations or vocational requirements. In order to address the current issues surrounding the ecological validity of psychometric tests, this pilot study introduced a hands-on assessment using a simulated real-world vocational task. Twenty-three subjects between the ages of 18-26, with varying cognitive disabilities, completed a vocational simulation task, the Hamburger Turning Task (HTT), and the results were compared to their scores on a battery of commonly used neuropsychological tests (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Finger Tapping test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Trailmaking Test, Stroop Color-Word test) that purport to measure aspects of executive functioning analogous to those measured by the HTT. A Pearson-product correlation was run to compare the relationship between the scores from the HTT and the psychometric tests, as well as the relationship between both psychometric tests and HTT scores and daily behavioral observations of executive functioning related performance over a 7 week period. The results of the study found a significant correlation between the HTT and behavioral data, leading us to believe that the HTT can be used to evaluate real-world aspects of executive functioning. It was also found that there was a high level of interrater reliability on the scoring of the HTT, allowing future researchers to use this as a standardized tool.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shugars, Sara
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCue, Michaelmmccue@pitt.eduMMCCUE
Committee MemberPramuka, Michaelmpramuka@pitt.eduMPRAMUKA
Committee MemberFitzgerald, Shirleysgf9@pitt.eduSGF9
Date: 25 April 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 5 April 2007
Approval Date: 25 April 2007
Submission Date: 12 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Executive Function; Ecological Validity; Functional Assessment
Other ID:, etd-04122007-120354
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:36
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:39


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