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Abstract

Success in life is linked to executive functions, a collection of cognitive processes that support goal-directed behaviors. Executive functions is an umbrella term related to cognitive control, self-control, and more. Variations in executive functioning predict concurrent success in schooling, relationships, and behavior, as well as important life outcomes years later. Such findings may suggest that certain individuals are destined for good executive functioning and success. However, environmental influences on executive function and development have long been recognized. Recent research in this tradition demonstrates the power of social contextual influences on children's engagement of executive functions. Such findings suggest new interpretations of why individuals differ in executive functioning and associated life outcomes, including across cultures and socioeconomic statuses. These findings raise fundamental questions about how best to conceptualize, measure, and support executive functioning across diverse contexts. Future research addressing real-world dynamics and computational mechanisms will elucidate how executive functioning emerges in the world.

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2021-12-09
2024-06-23
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