The random number generation task: psychometric properties and normative data of an executive function task in a mixed sample

M.J.V. Peters*, T.M. Giesbrecht, M. Jelicic, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach

*Corresponding author for this work

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We investigated the psychometric properties of the random number generation (RNG) task in four studies using a mixed sample of young adults (it = 306), middle-aged adults (n = 40), and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (n = 26). Data in study 1 were best accounted for by a three-factor solution representing inhibition of stereotypical schemas (seriation), output inhibition (repetition), and monitoring of previous output (cycling). Modest test-retest correlations were found, with the seriation factor showing acceptable stability across time (study 2). In study 3, RNG task performance was related to scores on concurrent neurocognitive tasks to establish construct validity. RNG scores correlated with healthy controls' performance on the Stroop color-word test and patients diagnosed with schizophrenia with executive dysfunctions. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia performed poorer on the seriation factor of the RNG than healthy control participants (study 4). Our results indicate that the RNG task has modest to acceptable psychometric properties. It primarily taps executive subfunctions (i.e., inhibition, updating, and monitoring), which are affected by psychopathological or neurological deficits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-634
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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