The Tower of London (TOL) is a widely used instrument for assessing planning ability. Inhibition and (spatial) working memory are assumed to contribute to performance on the TOL, but findings about the relationship between these cognitive processes are often inconsistent. Moreover, the influence of specific properties of TOL problems on cognitive processes and difficulty level is often not taken into account. Furthermore, it may be expected that several planning strategies can be distinguished that cannot be extracted from the total score. In this study, a factor analysis and a latent class regression analysis were performed to address these issues. The results showed that 4 strategy groups that differed with respect to preplanning time could be distinguished. The effect of problem properties also differed for the 4 groups. Additional analyses showed that the groups differed on average planning performance but that there were no significant differences between inhibition and spatial working memory performance. Finally, it seemed that multiple factors influence performance on the TOL, the most important ones being the score measurements, the problem properties, and strategy use.

Cognitive processes, Internal validity, Latent variable modeling, Planning, Tower of London,
Psychological Assessment
Department of Psychology

Koppenol-Gonzalez Marin, G.V, Bouwmeester, S, & Boonstra, A.M. (2010). Understanding planning ability measured by the tower of London: An evaluation of its internal structure by latent variable modeling. Psychological Assessment, 22(4), 923–934. doi:10.1037/a0020826