Cynthia R. Cimino
This study of the diagnosis threat involved a detailed review of the background principles, theories, and research established in stereotype threat and diagnosis threat literature. This paper is constructed upon the premise that non-neuropsychological factors can influence behavior within neuropsychological assessment and subsequently impact results. Further detriment can arise when medical professionals errantly view neuropsychological assessments as a direct measure of brain function instead of recognizing their true function as a behavioral assessment. The main goal of this paper is to highlight how non-neuropsychological factors, primarily the diagnosis threat, can affect neuropsychological assessment and attempt to provide an alternative explanation for a possibly debilitating stereotype that has surrounded concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. A study conducted in the fall of 2010 at the University of South Florida tested the diagnosis threat. A total of 265 undergraduate students (182 concussed; 83 neurologically healthy) were recruited for this study. Participants with a history of concussion were assigned to one of three groups: Diagnosis Threat (DT) condition, Gender Stereotype (GS) condition, or Neutral condition (N). The 83 neurologically healthy participants served as a control group. Results indicate that history of head injury did not impact performance. However, a negative relationship was found between symptom complaints and cognitive performance such that as symptom complaints increased, cognitive performance decreased. In addition, neurologically healthy participants reported greater post-concussive symptoms than head injured patients, supporting the claim that these symptoms are not specific to head injury.
Scholar Commons Citation
Salazar, Robert D., "Cognitive Performance and Diagnosis Threat" (2011). Outstanding Honors Theses. 64.