Individual Differences in Executive Functions: Unity/Diversity Framework and Recent Research Findings

[Speaker] Miyake, Akira:1
1:University of Colorado Boulder (United States of America)

This presentation will provide an overview of our group's work on individual differences in executive functions (EFs), focusing on recent theoretical developments and empirical findings. I will first outline a theoretical framework --- the unity/diversity framework (initially outlined by Miyake & Friedman, 2012) --- that has been guiding our current research. Instead of focusing on correlated yet separable EF factors (inhibition, updating, shifting), this framework emphasizes a general factor (Common EF) that relates to all EFs (unity) and specific factors unique to each EF (diversity; e.g., updating-specific, shifting-specific). I will then present several recent studies from our group that demonstrate (a) the relevance of EFs (especially Common EF) to various socially and clinically important phenomena (e.g., implicit stereotyping, procrastination, worry/anxiety, drug use) and (b) the stability and change in the organization of EFs and their genetic and environmental bases, based on the data from our group's longintudinal twin sample.
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