Improving the Reliability of Cognitive Task Measures: A Narrative Review

Samuel Zorowitz, Yael Niv

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-797
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • Behavioral tasks
  • Cognitive functions
  • Computational psychiatry
  • Individual differences
  • Psychometrics
  • Reliability


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving the Reliability of Cognitive Task Measures: A Narrative Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this