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Understanding and measuring individual differences in executive attention

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Executive attention – the ability to monitor and control ongoing thoughts and actions – is thought to account for a substantial amount of individual differences in working memory capacity and fluid intelligence (e.g., Kane & Engle, 2003). However, recent failures to establish sound correlations between different measures of executive attention (e.g., De Simoni & von Bastian, 2018; Paap & Greenberg, 2013) have led to scepticism about executive attention as a coherent psychometric construct (e.g., Rey-Mermet et al., 2018). In this project, the PhD student will investigate potential reasons for these inconsistent findings, including scrutinising the theoretical conceptualisation of executive attention, the psychometric properties (i.e., reliability, validity) of typically used tasks (e.g., Stroop task), and differences between derived scores (e.g., reaction time difference scores vs. accuracies).

Funding Notes

Self funding or sponsored students only - No University funding available at this time

For University funding opportunities - View Website


De Simoni, C., & von Bastian, C. C. (2018). Working memory updating and binding training: Bayesian evidence supporting the absence of transfer. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(6), 829-858. doi:10.1037/xge0000453
Miyake, A., & Friedman, N. P. (2012). The nature and organization of individual differences in executive functions: Four general conclusions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(1), 8-14. doi:10.1177/0963721411429458

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.45

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