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Cognitive Factors

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Cognition; Cognitive strategy; Cognitive style; Mental ability; Mental function


Cognitive factors refer to characteristics of the person that affect performance and learning. These factors serve to modulate performance such that it may improve or decline. These factors involve cognitive functions like attention, memory, and reasoning (Danili & Reid, 2006).

Cognitive factors are internal to each person and serve to modulate behavior and behavioral responses to external stimuli like stress. Performance on various activities of daily living has been found to be affected by these factors. Executive functions, for example, have been shown to predict ability to live independently in older adults such that those with poorer executive functioning are less able to live independently (Vaughn & Giovanello, 2010). Turning to behavioral responses to stress cognitive factors is known to play a role in posttraumatic stress disorder. The nature of the memory of the trauma may play...

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References and Readings

  • Danili, E., & Reid, N. (2006). Cognitive factors can potentially affect pupils’ test performance. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 7, 64–83.

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  • Dumore, E., Clark, D. M., & Ehlers, A. (2001). A prospective investigation of the role of cognitive factors in persistent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after physical or sexual assault. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 39, 1063–1084.

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  • Messick, S. (1994). The matter of style: Manifestations of personality in cognition, learning, and teaching. Educational Psychologist, 29, 121–136.

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  • Vaughn, L., & Giovanello, K. (2010). Executive function in daily living: Age related influences of executive processes on instrumental activities of daily living. Psychology and Aging, 25, 343–355.

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Correspondence to Eric Roy Ph.D., C. Psych. .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, New York

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Roy, E. (2013). Cognitive Factors. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-1004-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4419-1005-9

  • eBook Packages: MedicineReference Module Medicine