The influence of stable and fluctuating individual differences on executive functioning

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of New Brunswick


Executive functioning (EF) refers to the higher order cognitive processes that allow individuals to engage in goal-setting behaviours. These processes are relatively complex and individual differences on EF engagement vary. The current study examined the relationship between situational (i.e., loneliness) and dispositional (i.e., personality) factors and EF. Eighty-two participants completed performance based tasks and self-report questionnaires to assess EF and related psychosocial variables. Results indicated surprising similarities between the EF and the personality factors of Neuroticism and Conscientiousness. Furthermore, hypothesized subscales of self-report EF were not related to family, social and romantic loneliness when these factors were statistically controlled. Finally two competing models outlining the association of EF and loneliness were tested, with null findings. Supplementary analyses indicated that it may be beneficial to measure the overarching construct of loneliness and that additional EF performance-based tests are necessary to fully examine the link between loneliness and EF.