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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is EF the New IQ? by Wray Herbert FROM NewsWeek

Most people can recall a kid from grade school who couldn't stay seated, who talked out of turn and fidgeted constantly, whose backpack overflowed with crumpled handouts and who always had to ask other kids what the homework assignment was. Those kids weren't bad kids, but they seemed to have absolutely no self-control, no internal disciplinarian to put a brake on their impulses, to keep their attention focused. Not surprisingly, they were almost always lousy students as well.

This kind of student has been tagged with a variety of labels over the years: antisocial personality, conduct disorder, stupid. But recent advances in psychology and brain science are now suggesting that a child's ability to inhibit distracting thoughts and stay focused may be a fundamental cognitive skill, one that plays a big part in academic success from preschool on. Indeed, this and closely related skills may be more important than traditional IQ in predicting a child's school performance.

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