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Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science pres.

Cognitive Science Seminar: Daily cognition: The design and validation of open intensive longitudinal assessments

Dominic Kelly, U-M, Psychology

Dominic Kelly, U-M Department of Psychology, will give a talk titled "Daily cognition: The design and validation of open intensive longitudinal assessments."


Although cognition is often assumed to be stable, there is evidence that it can in fact vary over relatively short timespans, including from day to day. Investigations of cognitive fluctuations, especially fluctuations in cognitive skills that show gender differences, however, are limited by a lack of suitable instruments that are specifically designed for intensive longitudinal assessment (e.g., that reflect daily variation instead of practice effects). Our goal was to design and validate two new, freely available 75-occasion measures of gendered cognition – three-dimensional mental rotations and delayed paired verbal recall. We accomplished this by conducting a 75-day study with 121 participants who completed the novel cognitive measures every evening. Focusing on an age- and language-matched sample of 27 men and 27 women, results suggested that the novel measures are valid, and that they show parallel forms reliability across 75 days and the expected gender differences each day. Moreover, significant intra-individual variation was observed in cognition across the 75 days, indicating that gendered cognition fluctuates daily (in men and women). These findings encourage future work on the antecedents and consequences of cognitive fluctuations and on intra-individual variation in spatial and verbal skills with the new 75-occasion assessments.

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