Individual Differences and Motivational Effects

  • Benjamin Katz
  • Masha R. Jones
  • Priti Shah
  • Martin Buschkuehl
  • Susanne M. Jaeggi


Why do some people improve on untrained tasks following cognitive training while others do not? One possibility is that there are individual difference factors that play a key role in cognitive training outcomes. The present chapter examines a range of these factors, including baseline performance, age, personality, and motivation. Some of these factors, such as baseline performance and age, have long been examined in the context of cognitive training, and extant research provides evidence that they contribute to the outcome of both training-related improvements as well as transfer gains. Other factors, including personality and motivation, remain largely unexamined in the context of cognitive training, but preliminary research indicates that they may play a substantial role in the success of these interventions. We suggest that researchers ignore these factors at their peril and that future cognitive training studies should incorporate measures of individual differences in studies well powered enough to examine them. Furthermore, it is possible that for training interventions to be broadly successful for large populations, they must be personalized to take these factors into account.


Working memory Motivation Age Personality Baseline performance Transfer 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Katz
    • 1
  • Masha R. Jones
    • 2
  • Priti Shah
    • 1
  • Martin Buschkuehl
    • 3
  • Susanne M. Jaeggi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  3. 3.MIND Research InstituteIrvineUSA

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