Inhibition, friend or foe? Cognitive inhibition as a moderator between mathematical ability and mathematical creativity in primary school students
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SourcePersonality and Individual Differences, 142, (2019), pp. 196-201
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Personality and Individual Differences
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
It is still unclear which cognitive factors stand at the base of mathematical creativity. One factor could be inhibition, but results are inconsistent. A possible explanation is that this relation is more complex than the direct relations tested, until now. In the current study, the hypothesis was tested that cognitive inhibition moderated the relationship between mathematical ability and mathematical creativity. The sample included 82 primary school students between 8 and 12 years of age. Mathematical creativity was measured with a multiple solution task and scored on fluency, flexibility, and originality. While there was a direct relation between mathematical ability and mathematical creativity, inhibition did not have a direct effect on mathematical creativity, but it positively moderated this relationship for flexibility and originality. These results indicate that reduced inhibition strengthens the relationship between mathematical ability and mathematical flexibility and between mathematical ability and mathematical originality, but not the relation between mathematical ability and mathematical fluency. These findings are discussed in relation to children with high and low mathematical abilities, measurement of inhibition, and the domain-general/domain-specific discussion of creativity.
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