Assessment of Motivation, Effort, and
We created this iPad app to measure executive functions (inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory), processing speed, and delay of gratification. It has been tested with children ages 4 to 12. The app was designed to make it easy for researchers to customize the tasks for their own studies. The app is also available in Spanish and an iPhone/Android version of the app with two executive functioning tasks is currently under development.
Approaches to Challenges Task (ACT)
Adopting the format of the Challenging Situations Task (CST), we have created two questions to assess preschool-age children's responses to challenging situations. Using illustrations, children can choose between responses that indicate high challenge preference (e.g., keep trying to solve a hard puzzle) or responses that indicate less challenge preference (e.g., try to solve an easy puzzle).
Challenging Situations Task (CST)
This task was designed by Susanne Denham to measure preschool-age children's responses to hypothetical conflicts with peers. The measure includes 12 items with pictures that each depict a situation with a peer provocation. Children respond to each situation by first choosing among four illustrations that show an emotional response and then choosing among four illustrations that show a behavioral response. We have created a modernized set of illustrations that portray a racially and ethnically diverse mix of characters using an art style that is appealing to children.
Learning-Related Emotion Socialization
Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we are developing a parent-report survey measure to measure the strategies that racially and ethnically diverse groups of mothers and fathers commonly use when responding to school-age children's learning-related negative emotions. We are currently interviewing parents to identify the emotion socialization strategies that they use. We will follow this up with a national survey that will be used to validate the measure.
Emotion Matching Task (EMT)
This validated task measures several aspects of preschool-age children's emotion knowledge, including situational knowledge (matching a face to the description of a situation), labeling emotion expressions, and matching an emotion expression to an emotion word. Using photographs from the Child Affective Facial Expressions (CAFE) set, we have updated the stimuli for this task to include racially and ethnically diverse images of boys and girls. The updated set of photos includes Asian, Black, Latinx, and White faces.
PLUS Executive Functioning Battery for Android Tablets
For the 2013-2014 Promoting Learning, Understanding Self-Regulation (PLUS) study, we created an Android app to measure executive functions in school-age children in grades 3 to 5. This app includes four tasks (Hearts and Flowers, Multi-Source Interference Task, Digit Span Backwards, and Flanker Task) and has been adapted for use in Sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike AMES, the settings for individual tasks are not customizable.
Vignette for Teacher Rankings of Executive Functions
It is time consuming for teachers to complete executive functioning rating scales for all students in their classroom. To address this issue, we created a vignette describing a student with good executive functioning skills that teachers can use to rank their students. In a validation study, rankings and ratings showed similar convergent validity with direct assessments of executive functions and similar predictive validity with respect to students’ scores on standardized English language arts and math achievement tests.