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Cognitive training: a field in search of a phenomenon

Gobet, Fernand ORCID: 0000-0002-9317-6886 and Sala, Giovanni (2023) Cognitive training: a field in search of a phenomenon. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 18 (1). 125 - 141. ISSN 1745-6916

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Identification Number: 10.1177/17456916221091830


Considerable research has been carried out in the last two decades on the putative benefits of cognitive training on cognitive function and academic achievement. Recent meta-analyses summarizing the extent empirical evidence have resolved the apparent lack of consensus in the field and led to a crystal-clear conclusion: The overall effect of far transfer is null, and there is little to no true variability between the types of cognitive training. Despite these conclusions, the field has maintained an unrealistic optimism about the cognitive and academic benefits of cognitive training, as exemplified by a recent article (Green et al., 2019). We demonstrate that this optimism is due to the field neglecting the results of meta-analyses and largely ignoring the statistical explanation that apparent effects are due to a combination of sampling errors and other artifacts. We discuss recommendations for improving cognitive-training research, focusing on making results publicly available, using computer modeling, and understanding participants’ knowledge and strategies. Given that the available empirical evidence on cognitive training and other fields of research suggests that the likelihood of finding reliable and robust far-transfer effects is low, research efforts should be redirected to near transfer or other methods for improving cognition.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2022 10:45
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 16:45

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