Attention Control: A Cornerstone of Higher-Order Cognition - Burgoyne & Engle [post]

Alexander P. Burgoyne, Randall W Engle
2020 unpublished
For years, psychologists have wondered why people who are highly skilled in one cognitive domain tend to be skilled in other cognitive domains, too. In this article, we explain how attention control provides a common thread between higher-order cognitive abilities, including fluid intelligence, working memory capacity, and sensory discrimination. Attention control allows us to pursue our goals in spite of distractions and temptations, to deviate from the habitual, and to keep information in
more » ... amidst a maelstrom of divergent thought. Highlighting results from our lab, we describe the role of attention control in information maintenance and disengagement, and how these functions contribute to performance in a variety of complex cognitive tasks. We also describe a recent undertaking in which we developed new and improved attention control tasks, which had higher reliabilities, stronger inter-correlations, and higher loadings on a common factor than traditional measures. From an applied perspective, these new attention control tasks show great promise for use in personnel selection assessments. We close by outlining exciting avenues for future research.
doi:10.31234/ fatcat:j3mrnd3zsbhnthdkg4qkj767h4