Measuring attentional ability in older adults: Development and psychometric evaluation of driverscan

Lesa Hoffman, Xiangdong Yang, James A. Bovaird, Susan E. Embretson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although deficits in visual attention are often postulated as an important component of many declines in cognitive processing and functional outcomes in older adults, surprisingly little emphasis has been placed on evaluating psychometric instruments with which individual differences in visual attention ability can be assessed. This article reports the development and beginning psychometric evaluation of DriverScan, a change detection measure of attentional search for older adults. A constrained graded response model is used to approximate response speed and accuracy with categories of immediate, delayed, or no response. DriverScan items are shown to have excellent reliability over the studied sample, and the distribution of items is shown to adequately cover the difficulty continuum and to be maximally sensitive at distinguishing individuals with lower than average abilities (i.e., individuals with attention deficits). Item design features representing goaldirected and stimulus-driven attentional processing significantly predict item difficulty as hypothesized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-1000
Number of pages17
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Change detection
  • Item response theory
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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