University of Hertfordshire

Executive functioning questionnaires: A critical review of factor analytic studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontal Lobe: Anatomy, Functions and Injuries
Place of PublicationHauppage, New York
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc., USA.
ISBN (Print)9781620817278
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


Executive function encapsulates those complex cognitive processes such as planningand executing strategies, inhibiting undesired responses, and managing emotionalresponses. Studies of neurological patients indicate that these distinctly human cognitivecharacteristics reside in the frontal cortex. Despite the centrality of executive function toour notion of what it is to be human, a review of the literature indicates little agreementas to the main components of this cognitive system either in objective tests or throughself-assessment measures.We examined the self-assessment of executive function(s) in healthy individualsusing the Frontal Systems Behaviour Scale (FrSBe: Stout, Ready, Grace, Malloy andPaulsen, 2003).A total of 658 participants (176 male and 480 female), aged between 18 and 60, withno history of head injury completed the 46-item FrSBe. Exploratory factor analysisrevealed six factors, which we labelled as: Apathy, Sociability, Lability, Immaturebehaviour, Disorganisation and Anti-Social behaviour. A second-order factor analysisrevealed two second-order factors, which corresponded closely to the notions of Pseudodepressionand Pseudo-psychopathy. We discuss the findings with reference tocorrespondence between executive function in healthy individuals and clinical cases.

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