Inhibitory Control Predicts Academic Performance Beyond Fluid Intelligence and Processing Speed in English-Immersed Chinese High Schoolers

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Conference Proceeding

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Investigation of the relationship between cognitive function and academic performance has recently pivoted from differences in intelligence to executive function. To date, these studies have focused disproportionately on samples recruited from Western countries, despite evidence in support of cultural differences in these putative relationships. To address this gap, the present study investigated whether differences in inhibitory and/or attentional control could predict academic performance in a sample of Chinese adolescents (n=42). Participants reported on demographic details and completed both the Simon task and Attention Network Test. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression controlling for gender, age, SES, English language proficiency, processing speed, and fluid intelligence. Results showed that one index of inhibitory control derived from flanker task performance explained a significant amount of unique variance in academic performance. Our findings provide evidence that executive function, specifically inhibitory control, plays a significant role in academic performance.

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Proceedings of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Cognitive Diversity, CogSci 2022

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