ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2004, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (5): 706-713.

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On the Problem-Solving Framework about Executive Function

Wang Naiyi,Li Hong,Gao Shan   

  1. Key Laboratory of Basic Psychology, School of Psychology, Southwest China Normal University, Beibei, Chongqing, 400715
  • Received:2004-08-30 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2004-09-15 Published:2004-09-15
  • Contact: Li Hong

Abstract: There are various definitions and theories about executive function (EF). However, EF has such a broad connotation that there has not been a definite and consistent definition about it. Whereas the limitations of the existing theories, this article introduces a new approach to illustrate EF proposed by Zelazo et al.: to ground the construct of EF on the theoretical framework of problem solving and thereby to integrate temporally and functionally distinct aspects of EF within a coherent framework. According to this problem-solving framework, EF is a macroconstruct that spans 4 phases of problem solving (i.e., representation, planning, execution, and evaluation). This point of view acknowledges the inherent complexity and hierarchy of EF and permits us to proceed with the difficult task of mapping out the interactions among the subfunctions of EF. It will help us to integrate various outcomes in the field of EF. The article also presents the deficiencies of this approach.

Key words: executive function, problem solving, macroconstruct, subfunction

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