Study Finds that Flunking Baseline Test Not as Easy as Thought

As more and more concussion lawsuits are filed, at least one point of contention may be whether an athlete tried to do poorly on a pre-concussion baseline test. Why would an athlete do that? So that after suffering a concussion he or she would be able to get back into the contest, rather than sitting on the bench.

But a better question, in light of a recent study, is can the athlete purposefully bomb a test?

According to a report that was recently published in an article in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, probably not.

In the first study of its kind, 75 collegiate athletes were told to try and do their absolute worst on the ImPACT baseline test. Only 11 percent were able to successfully cheat the system and have their efforts to intentionally fail go undetected.

In the original article entitled Knocked Out, David Hovda, director for UCLA’s Brain Injury Research Center, said that the ImPACT test was “better than nothing” in determining possible brain injuries, but with tests involving individual performances, “there’s always going to be variances.”

Those variances may make even more difficult to spot a player intentionally trying to fail a baseline test.

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