Assessment of Problem Solving and Executive Functions

  • Felicia C. Goldstein
  • Robert C. Green
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


The assessment of problem solving and executive functions is one of the most challenging tasks facing clinicians involved in the evaluation of behavior. Although there are numerous neuropsychological measures to examine these abilities, no single test captures their full complexity. The skills necessary for performing behaviors such as planning, hypothesis testing, and self-monitoring are interrelated and often subtle. Successful performance depends not only on the integrity of these specific skills, but on other domains such as language, attention, and memory. The ability to use feedback, for example, may be disrupted because the patient has forgotten a previous response rather than being insensitive to environmental contingencies. Motivational level also influences whether the patient is willing to formulate strategies and to select behaviors necessary to achieve goals. Assessment requires a comprehensive approach that employs an array of methods and includes careful analysis of the underpinnings of impairments.


Executive Function Frontal Lobe Problem Solve Wisconsin Card Sort Test Divergent Thinking 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicia C. Goldstein
    • 1
  • Robert C. Green
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobehavioral Program, Department of NeurologyEmory University School of Medicine and Wesley Woods CenterAtlantaUSA

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