Is the Boston Naming Test Still Fit For Purpose? Academic Article uri icon


  • The Boston Naming Test (BNT) (Kaplan, Goodglass, & Weintraub, 1983) is the most commonly used test of confrontation naming in neuropsychology (Rabin, Barr, & Burton, 2005). However, there are significant criticisms of the BNT which suggest that it might not be the assessment measure of choice. These criticisms are that the BNT has poor psychometric properties, is not adequately standardized, and has inadequate norms. It is further suggested that when considered in the context of contemporary conceptualizations of the neuropsychology of naming, the BNT does not adequately capture the processes known to be required for successful naming, and does not sample widely enough from the content domain of "naming". These criticisms suggest that the BNT is flawed as a measure of naming, and are discussed in detail in this review. Other stand-alone visual confrontation naming tasks are reviewed to evaluate whether any might be viable substitutes for the BNT in clinical neuropsychology. The Naming Test from the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (Stern & White, 2009) was identified as a possible alternative to the BNT, however, neither of these tests was designed with reference to models of the neuropsychology of naming, and development of a new test of naming is indicated.

publication date

  • 2014