Dr. David Wacker
Participation year
Project title

Relations Between Neuropsychological Profiles and Choice-Making in Children


The current investigation was a case study conducted as part of a larger study on identifying individual differences in preferred mode of directive (i.e. visual, verbal) and cognitive profile on the amount of work completed (task effort). For a visual-motor integration task (design drawing), Olivia, a 7-year-old with a language learning disability, demonstrated a preference of visual directives. In a choice paradigm, an interaction occurred between preference for directive task effort and task difficulty. Olivia completed more tasks (i.e. put forth greater effort) in order to have a directive provided in her preferred mode (visual) on difficult, but not easy, items. The results suggest that the individual differences in preference for directive may be predicted by cognitive profile, and that these differences may vary according to task difficulty. Results also suggest that combing neuropsychological and behavioral economic analyses may assist in the development of effective academic strategies for children with learning problems.

Danielle  Caldwell
University of Iowa