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Measuring Executive Functions and their Relations to Mathematical Skills in Preschool Children: A Meta-Analysis Emslander, Valentin ; Scientific Conference (2020, July) Introduction: Executive functions (inhibition, attention shifting, working memory) are linked to mathematical skills in school students and adults. This link is particularly important because performance ... [more ▼] Introduction: Executive functions (inhibition, attention shifting, working memory) are linked to mathematical skills in school students and adults. This link is particularly important because performance in school mathematics is predictive of various competencies later in life. While some researchers argue that tests of executive functions and mathematical skills measure the same underlying construct, others argue that they measure distinct but correlated constructs. Also, evidence on the differentiation of cognitive skills over time exists. Clarifying the relation between executive functions and mathematical skills is, however, challenging, especially because preschoolers cannot fill in commonly used questionnaires that require them to read. As a consequence, researchers have to resort to behavioral, verbal, apparatus-, or computer-based assessments of executive functions. Objectives/Methodology: With this meta-analysis of 26 studies containing 238 effect sizes, we examined the link between executive functions and early mathematical skills for a total sample of 24,256 preschool children. Specifically, we synthesized the corresponding correlations and sought to clarify which executive function assessments were used for preschool children and how the assessment characteristics may moderate the correlation between executive functions and mathematical skills. Results: Utilizing three-level random-effects meta-analysis, we found a moderate correlation between executive functions and mathematical skills in preschool children, r = 0.35. The type of assessment (behavioral, verbal, apparatus-, or computer-based assessments) did not moderate this relation. Differentiating between the three executive functions revealed average correlations of r = 0.31 between math and inhibition, r = 0.38 between math and attention shifting, and r = 0.36 between math and updating. These analyses will be supplemented by further moderator analyses. Conclusions: Our findings support the significant link between executive functions and mathematical skills in preschoolers—yet, the average correlations do not suggest that both measures are identical. Results will be discussed against the background of deployed assessments and testing environments. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 70 (4 UL)Editorial: Advancements in Technology-Based Assessment: Emerging Item Formats, Test Designs, and Data Sources ; ; Greiff, Samuel in Frontiers in Psychology (2020) Detailed reference viewed: 27 (2 UL)Measures of Executive Functions and Mathematical Skills are Distinct Even at a Young Age: A Meta-Analysis with Preschool Children Emslander, Valentin ; Scientific Conference (2020) Measures of executive functions (inhibition, attention shifting, working memory) are linked to measures of mathematical skills in school students and adults. However, the magnitude of this relation in ... [more ▼] Measures of executive functions (inhibition, attention shifting, working memory) are linked to measures of mathematical skills in school students and adults. However, the magnitude of this relation in preschool children is unclear. Following the literature on the differentiation of cognitive skills over time, some researchers suggest that tests of executive functions and mathematical skills measure the same underlying construct, while others suggest that they measure correlated but distinct constructs. This dispute does not only tap the question of how the constructs can be understood but also the question of cost and test efficiency (i.e., assessments of single vs. multiple constructs). Clarifying the relation between measures of the two constructs can be especially challenging because preschoolers cannot fill in commonly used questionnaires that require them to read. Thus, researchers have to resort to behavioral, verbal, apparatus-, or computer-based assessments of executive functions. As a result, executive functions may vary in their relation to mathematical skills as a consequence of their measurement. We examined the link between executive functions and early mathematical skills measures, conducting a meta-analysis of 26 studies containing 238 effect sizes for a total sample of 24,256 preschool children. Specifically, we synthesized the corresponding correlations and aimed to clarify which executive function assessments were used for preschool children and how assessment characteristics may moderate the correlation between executive functions and mathematical skills. Three-level random-effects meta-analysis revealed a small to moderate average correlation between executive functions and mathematical skills measures of preschool children, r = 0.35. The type of assessment (behavioral, verbal, apparatus-, or computer-based assessments) did not moderate this relation. Investigating the three executive functions separately, we found average correlations of r = 0.31 between mathematical skills and inhibition, r = 0.38 between mathematical skills and attention shifting, and r = 0.36 between mathematical skills and updating. These analyses will be supplemented by further moderator and sensitivity analyses. These findings emphasize the significant link between executive functions and mathematical skills measures in preschoolers—hereby, supporting that the measures of both constructs are distinct. In addition, under-researched areas around the assessment of executive functions and mathematical abilities will be discussed. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 81 (5 UL)Complex problem solving and its position in the wider realm of the human intellect Greiff, Samuel ; in Journal of Intelligence (2018) Detailed reference viewed: 204 (8 UL)Critical discussion of the special issue current innovations in computer-based assessment. Greiff, Samuel ; ; in Computers in Human Behavior (2017), 76 Detailed reference viewed: 50 (3 UL)Adaptive problem solving : Moving towards a new assessment domain in the second cycle of PIAAC. Greiff, Samuel ; ; et al in OECD Education Working Papers (2017) Detailed reference viewed: 27 (0 UL)Intelligence in action. Effective strategic behaviors while solving complex problems. ; ; Greiff, Samuel et al in Intelligence (2017), 64 Detailed reference viewed: 144 (7 UL)Current innovations in computer-based assessment. Special issue. ; Greiff, Samuel ; in Computers in Human Behavior (2017) Detailed reference viewed: 60 (4 UL)Editorial to the special issue current innovations in computer-based assessment. ; Greiff, Samuel ; in Computers in Human Behavior (2017), 76 Detailed reference viewed: 28 (1 UL)Crossing the borders of domains. The role of complex problem solving for student learning ; Greiff, Samuel Scientific Conference (2016, November 08) Detailed reference viewed: 143 (6 UL)Using behavioral data from computer-generated log files to understand complex problem solving performance in a computer-based assessment Niepel, Christoph ; Greiff, Samuel ; et al Scientific Conference (2016, July) Detailed reference viewed: 100 (5 UL)Understanding students' performance in a computer-based assessment of complex problem solving. An analysis of behavioral data from computer-generated log files. Greiff, Samuel ; Niepel, Christoph ; et al in Computers in Human Behavior (2016), 61 Computer-based assessments of complex problem solving (CPS) that have been used in international large-scale surveys require students to engage in an in-depth interaction with the problem environment. In ... [more ▼] Computer-based assessments of complex problem solving (CPS) that have been used in international large-scale surveys require students to engage in an in-depth interaction with the problem environment. In this, they evoke manifest sequences of overt behavior that are stored in computer-generated logfiles. In the present study, we explored the relation between several overt behaviors, which N=1476 Finnish ninth-grade students (mean age=15.23,SD=.47 years) exhibited when exploring a CPS environment, and their CPS performance. We used the MicroDYN approach to measure CPS and inspected students' behaviors through log-file analyses. Results indicated that students who occasionally observed the problem environment in a noninterfering way in addition to actively exploring it (noninterfering observation) showed better CPS performance, whereas students who showed a high frequency of (potentially unplanned) interventions (intervention frequency) exhibited worse CPS performance. Additionally, both too much and too little time spent on a CPS task (time on task) was associated with poor CPS performance. The observed effects held after controlling for students' use of an exploration strategy that required a sequence of multiple interventions (VOTAT strategy) indicating that these behaviors exhibited incremental effects on CPS performance beyond the use of VOTAT. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 331 (28 UL)Linking speed and ability in technology-based assessment of complex problem solving ; Greiff, Samuel ; Scientific Conference (2015, April) Detailed reference viewed: 75 (2 UL)Exploring the relation between speed and ability in complex problem solving ; Greiff, Samuel ; in Intelligence (2015), 48 Detailed reference viewed: 133 (7 UL) |
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