Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Need for Cognition (NFC) on memory performance. NFC is a personality trait that measures how much an individual enjoys effortful thinking. NFC is only moderately related to intelligence. Method: Data from 168 undergraduate participants was utilized. The mean age was 21 (SD 3.8), mean IQ was 110 (SD 11.1), and 74% female and predominantly white. Subjects were excluded if English was a secondary language, they had auditory or visual impairment, or a psychiatric diagnosis. Participants completed the WMS-III and the NFC short form (Cacioppo, Petty, & Kao, 1984). A median split was performed that resulted in high and low NFC groups. Results: Pearson correlations revealed that NFC was significantly associated with only WMS-III General Memory Index (r = .222), Logical Memory I (r = .239), and Logical Memory II (r = 242); all other correlations with WMS-III subtests were not significant. Independent samples t-test found significant differences between the high and low NFC groups for performance on Logical Memory I [t(166) = −3.26, p = .001] and Logical Memory II [t(166) = −3.65, p < .001]. The effect size for these differences were d = .5 to .6 with the higher NFC group performing better. Conclusion: The impact of individual differences in personality on cognitive performance is understudied. Our results illustrate that the trait NFC significantly affects performance on memory test that have a story format but not other tests of memory. This is possibly because higher NFC results in more effortful processing of contextual information.
The Personality Trait Need for Cognition Affects Story Memory Performance
B Hill, J Foster, E Elliott, A Boettcher, C Sofko, E Corley; C-44
The Personality Trait Need for Cognition Affects Story Memory Performance. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 578-579. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.246
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