Is there any literature suggesting a relationship between academic performance and cognitive function?

I'm trying to find something that suggests which cognitive functions/domains are typically utilized when taking school exams. Obviously this will depend heavily on the nature of the exam, but are there any studies that have looked at this generally?

For example, do people that perform better on exams also perform better on computer based tasks assessing working memory, or ignoring visual distractors etc? Hence allowing you to narrow down the specific set of cognitive functions associated with taking an exam?

EDIT: by cognitive function, I'm referring to things like working memory, sustained attention, executive function, spatial processing. Not so much IQ or any measures of intelligence

  • $\begingroup$ If by "cognitive function" you mean "IQ" or something else, you should edit your question to reflect this. $\endgroup$ – Seanny123 Nov 24 '17 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ I dont mean IQ. Ive updated the question to include the types of functions Im talking about $\endgroup$ – Simon Nov 24 '17 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ You might want to make this question about IQ and then make separate questions for the other factors. Sticking them all into one question makes this question super broad. $\endgroup$ – Seanny123 Nov 24 '17 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ you should read into "positive manifold". my intuition is that whatever is tapping most into psychometric g will be the strongest correlation, but that would suggest that if your exam was a reaction time task, then fluid intelligence would be better, not the equivalent ECT. $\endgroup$ – faustus Nov 25 '17 at 0:52

If by cognitive function you mean IQ, then that's most of the focus of the intelligence research, as in the main motivation to study IQ. In one large UK study of children the correlation was 0.81. But there are personality factors influencing academic performance as well. Even with respect to IQ [as measured in pracice], it is suspected that it is influenced in part by motivation, which itself may be an interaction between personality and the context/environment. And to the extent that self-discipline is different than [short-term] motivation, some research suggest it may matter even more for academic performance.

  • $\begingroup$ hmm what about factors such as attention or executive function (e.g. do people that perform better on exams also perform better on working memory tasks in the lab?) $\endgroup$ – Simon Nov 24 '17 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon: ADHD is known to impair academic performance. doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsl054 $\endgroup$ – Fizz Nov 24 '17 at 7:03

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