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Abstract Article: Need for Cognition (NFC) refers to a personality trait describing the relatively stable intrinsic motivation of individuals to invest cognitive effort in cognitive endeavors. Higher NFC is associated with a more elaborated central information processing style and increased recruitment of resources in cognitively demanding situations. To further clarify the association between cognitive resources and NFC, we examined in two studies how NFC relates to executive functions as basic cognitive abilities. In Study 1, 189 healthy young adults completed the NFC scale and a battery of six commonly used inhibitory control tasks (Stroop, antisaccade, stop-signal, flanker, shape-matching, word-naming). In Study 2, 102 healthy young adults completed the NFC scale and two tasks for each of the three executive functions inhibitory control (go-nogo, stop-signal), shifting (number-letter, color-shape) and working memory updating (two-back, letter-memory). Using a Bayesian approach to correlation analysis, we found no conclusive evidence that NFC was related to any executive function measure. Instead, we obtained even moderate evidence for the null hypothesis. Both studies add to more recent findings that shape the understanding of NFC as a trait that is less characterized by increased cognitive control abilities but rather by increased willingness to invest effort and exert self-control via motivational processes. Abstract Poster: Need for Cognition (NFC) describes interindividual differences in the tendency to enjoy thinking and to engage in cognitive endeavors. Conceptually, NFC has been related to different modes of information processing. Previous research provided evidence for small to medium associations between NFC and intelligence, sometimes differing for fluid and crystallized intelligence. From a theoretical perspective, processing information efficiently may promote to develop positive attitudes toward effortful cognitive activities. Additionally there is evidence for links between NFC and the recruitment of cognitive resources which may be related to the efficiency of basic cognitive processes. However, little is empirically known about processes behind or relations of NFC to other cognitive abilities. We present results of a study that examined associations of NFC to executive functions, mental speed and intelligence. The analyzed sample consisted of 102 students. NFC was assessed via self-report. Two intelligence tests were used to assess fluid and crystallized intelligence (CFT 20-R, WeiƟ, 2006; BEFKI GC-K, Schipolowski et al., 2014). To measure basic cognitive processes, we used the numbers connecting task (Oswald & Roth, 1987) and a test battery including two tasks for the executive functions Shifting, Inhibition, and Updating, respectively. Our results replicate findings of associations around r = .30 with intelligence, with a slightly stronger association to fluid intelligence. The association of NFC with mental speed was r =.16. NFC did not correlate with executive-function tasks. Hence, our results underline conceptual differences between NFC and cognitive abilities and thereby contribute to the understanding of the nature of NFC.
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