Verbal Paired Associates (VPA) is an assessment of associative and episodic memory in which the task is to learn a set of word-pairs. This is a verbal task, with stimuli presented auditorily, and responses spoken by the participant and scored automatically by the software. The difficulty of the task (i.e., the memorability of the word-pair items) has been carefully calibrated so that parallel forms of the test can be used in repeated testing.
1-4 minutes depending on performance. Additional ~30s for Delayed Recall
Participants are presented with a spoken set of eight pairs of words. They are then asked to remember which target word was paired with each prompt word. If the participant does not correctly recall all eight pairs, they are given up to two further attempts. There is a delayed recall variant of the task may also be included: this is completed after another intervening task (for example, Digit Span), and assess ability to recall the learned word pairs without hearing the list again.
Outcome measures include the errors made by the participant during each attempt, the number of attempts and a score that takes into account the difficulty level of the items learned or missed.