Improving the reliability of cognitive task measures: A narrative review

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Journal Article

Cognitive tasks are capable of providing researchers with crucial insights into the relationship between cognitive processing and psychiatric phenomena. However, many recent studies have found that task measures exhibit poor reliability, which hampers their usefulness for individual-differences research. Here we provide a narrative review of approaches to improve the reliability of cognitive task measures. Specifically, we introduce a taxonomy of experiment design and analysis strategies for improving task reliability. Where appropriate, we highlight studies that are exemplary for improving the reliability of specific task measures. We hope that this article can serve as a helpful guide for experimenters who wish to design a new task, or improve an existing one, to achieve sufficient reliability for use in individual-differences research.

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