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A longitudinal study of higher-order thinking skills: working memory and fluid reasoning in childhood enhance complex problem solving in adolescence.

Greiff S, Wüstenberg S, Goetz T, Vainikainen MP, Hautamäki J, Bornstein MH - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: As children move from childhood into adolescence, their mental development increasingly involves higher-order cognitive skills that are crucial for successful planning, decision-making, and problem solving skills.Results revealed that FR was a strong predictor of both CPS dimensions, whereas WM exhibited only a small influence on one of the two CPS dimensions.These results provide strong support for the view that CPS involves FR and, to a lesser extent, WM in childhood and from there evolves into an increasingly complex structure of higher-order cognitive skills in adolescence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Education, Culture, Cognition and Society Unit, University of Luxembourg Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

ABSTRACT
Scientists have studied the development of the human mind for decades and have accumulated an impressive number of empirical studies that have provided ample support for the notion that early cognitive performance during infancy and childhood is an important predictor of later cognitive performance during adulthood. As children move from childhood into adolescence, their mental development increasingly involves higher-order cognitive skills that are crucial for successful planning, decision-making, and problem solving skills. However, few studies have employed higher-order thinking skills such as complex problem solving (CPS) as developmental outcomes in adolescents. To fill this gap, we tested a longitudinal developmental model in a sample of 2,021 Finnish sixth grade students (M = 12.41 years, SD = 0.52; 1,041 female, 978 male, 2 missing sex). We assessed working memory (WM) and fluid reasoning (FR) at age 12 as predictors of two CPS dimensions: knowledge acquisition and knowledge application. We further assessed students' CPS performance 3 years later as a developmental outcome (N = 1696; M = 15.22 years, SD = 0.43; 867 female, 829 male). Missing data partly occurred due to dropout and technical problems during the first days of testing and varied across indicators and time with a mean of 27.2%. Results revealed that FR was a strong predictor of both CPS dimensions, whereas WM exhibited only a small influence on one of the two CPS dimensions. These results provide strong support for the view that CPS involves FR and, to a lesser extent, WM in childhood and from there evolves into an increasingly complex structure of higher-order cognitive skills in adolescence.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The longitudinal prediction of CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application by fluid reasoning (FR) and working memory (WM; Model A). We controlled for gender by regressing CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application on gender; gender was allowed to correlate with FR and WM; only significant paths are displayed (i.e., effect sizes of non-significant paths are mentioned in the text). Gender was not significantly correlated with FR (r = -0.058, SE = 0.03, 95% CI [-0.115, 0.000], p = 0.05). Ellipses represent latent constructs; rectangles represent measured variables. Numbers adjacent to paths are standardized coefficients. Numbers adjacent to the item indicators of latent constructs represent the range of factor loadings. WLSMV estimation was used for parameter estimation. Gender categories are: 1 = female; 2 = male. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.001.
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Figure 2: The longitudinal prediction of CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application by fluid reasoning (FR) and working memory (WM; Model A). We controlled for gender by regressing CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application on gender; gender was allowed to correlate with FR and WM; only significant paths are displayed (i.e., effect sizes of non-significant paths are mentioned in the text). Gender was not significantly correlated with FR (r = -0.058, SE = 0.03, 95% CI [-0.115, 0.000], p = 0.05). Ellipses represent latent constructs; rectangles represent measured variables. Numbers adjacent to paths are standardized coefficients. Numbers adjacent to the item indicators of latent constructs represent the range of factor loadings. WLSMV estimation was used for parameter estimation. Gender categories are: 1 = female; 2 = male. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.001.

Mentions: We used the baseline Model A as starting point for testing our two hypotheses (see Figure 2), in which we utilized WM (measured with eight items) and a second-order FR factor including scientific reasoning (eight items) and deductive reasoning (eight items) as predictors. FR and WM were allowed to correlate. Gender (as a covariate) was used as an additional predictor of CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application and was allowed to correlate with FR and WM. CPS knowledge acquisition (nine items) and CPS knowledge application (nine items) were used as criteria and were allowed to correlate.


A longitudinal study of higher-order thinking skills: working memory and fluid reasoning in childhood enhance complex problem solving in adolescence.

Greiff S, Wüstenberg S, Goetz T, Vainikainen MP, Hautamäki J, Bornstein MH - Front Psychol (2015)

The longitudinal prediction of CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application by fluid reasoning (FR) and working memory (WM; Model A). We controlled for gender by regressing CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application on gender; gender was allowed to correlate with FR and WM; only significant paths are displayed (i.e., effect sizes of non-significant paths are mentioned in the text). Gender was not significantly correlated with FR (r = -0.058, SE = 0.03, 95% CI [-0.115, 0.000], p = 0.05). Ellipses represent latent constructs; rectangles represent measured variables. Numbers adjacent to paths are standardized coefficients. Numbers adjacent to the item indicators of latent constructs represent the range of factor loadings. WLSMV estimation was used for parameter estimation. Gender categories are: 1 = female; 2 = male. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.001.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4515543&req=5

Figure 2: The longitudinal prediction of CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application by fluid reasoning (FR) and working memory (WM; Model A). We controlled for gender by regressing CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application on gender; gender was allowed to correlate with FR and WM; only significant paths are displayed (i.e., effect sizes of non-significant paths are mentioned in the text). Gender was not significantly correlated with FR (r = -0.058, SE = 0.03, 95% CI [-0.115, 0.000], p = 0.05). Ellipses represent latent constructs; rectangles represent measured variables. Numbers adjacent to paths are standardized coefficients. Numbers adjacent to the item indicators of latent constructs represent the range of factor loadings. WLSMV estimation was used for parameter estimation. Gender categories are: 1 = female; 2 = male. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.001.
Mentions: We used the baseline Model A as starting point for testing our two hypotheses (see Figure 2), in which we utilized WM (measured with eight items) and a second-order FR factor including scientific reasoning (eight items) and deductive reasoning (eight items) as predictors. FR and WM were allowed to correlate. Gender (as a covariate) was used as an additional predictor of CPS knowledge acquisition and CPS knowledge application and was allowed to correlate with FR and WM. CPS knowledge acquisition (nine items) and CPS knowledge application (nine items) were used as criteria and were allowed to correlate.

Bottom Line: As children move from childhood into adolescence, their mental development increasingly involves higher-order cognitive skills that are crucial for successful planning, decision-making, and problem solving skills.Results revealed that FR was a strong predictor of both CPS dimensions, whereas WM exhibited only a small influence on one of the two CPS dimensions.These results provide strong support for the view that CPS involves FR and, to a lesser extent, WM in childhood and from there evolves into an increasingly complex structure of higher-order cognitive skills in adolescence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Education, Culture, Cognition and Society Unit, University of Luxembourg Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

ABSTRACT
Scientists have studied the development of the human mind for decades and have accumulated an impressive number of empirical studies that have provided ample support for the notion that early cognitive performance during infancy and childhood is an important predictor of later cognitive performance during adulthood. As children move from childhood into adolescence, their mental development increasingly involves higher-order cognitive skills that are crucial for successful planning, decision-making, and problem solving skills. However, few studies have employed higher-order thinking skills such as complex problem solving (CPS) as developmental outcomes in adolescents. To fill this gap, we tested a longitudinal developmental model in a sample of 2,021 Finnish sixth grade students (M = 12.41 years, SD = 0.52; 1,041 female, 978 male, 2 missing sex). We assessed working memory (WM) and fluid reasoning (FR) at age 12 as predictors of two CPS dimensions: knowledge acquisition and knowledge application. We further assessed students' CPS performance 3 years later as a developmental outcome (N = 1696; M = 15.22 years, SD = 0.43; 867 female, 829 male). Missing data partly occurred due to dropout and technical problems during the first days of testing and varied across indicators and time with a mean of 27.2%. Results revealed that FR was a strong predictor of both CPS dimensions, whereas WM exhibited only a small influence on one of the two CPS dimensions. These results provide strong support for the view that CPS involves FR and, to a lesser extent, WM in childhood and from there evolves into an increasingly complex structure of higher-order cognitive skills in adolescence.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus