OBJECTIVE: 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.
METHOD: In Study 1, 189 healthy young adults completed an 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).
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSIONS: 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.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of personality|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2021|