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Field dependence-independence (FDI) cognitive style: an analysis of attentional functioning.


Male, Attention, Child, Cognition, Female, Field Dependence-Independence, Humans

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      Previous research has indicated that field-dependent children display poorer performance than field-independent children in almost all academic subjects and cognitive tasks. However, the processes underlying this poorer performance remain unclear. The present study aimed to assess whether children with different FDI cognitive styles show differences in performance of tasks measuring aspects of attentional functioning. Specifically, 149 children aged 8 - 11 years were classified according to FDI cognitive style (field-dependent, intermediate, or field-independent), and to storage capacity (Digits Forward Test), verbal working memory (Digits Backward Test), capacity to focus, shift, and maintain attention (Digit Symbol Test), and capacity for sustained attention (Visual Search and Attention Test). Field-independent children displayed better performance than intermediate and field-dependent children on all tests except the Digits Forward Test. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.

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