1932

Abstract

Cognitive control is defined as a set of processes required for the organization of goal-directed thoughts and actions. It is linked to success throughout life including health, wealth, and social capital. How to support the development of cognitive control is therefore an intensively discussed topic. Progress in understanding how this critical life skill can be optimally scaffolded in long-lasting ways has been disappointing. I argue that this effort has been hampered by the predominant perspective that cognitive control is a competence or ability, the development of which is driven by predetermined maturational sequences. I propose that this traditional view needs to be overhauled in light of a growing body of evidence suggesting that cognitive control allocation is a both highly dynamic and rational process subject to cost–benefit analyses from early in development. I discuss the ramifications of shifting our perspective on cognitive control mechanisms in relation to how we design interventions. I close by spelling out new avenues for scientific inquiry.

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2023-12-11
2024-04-25
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