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I was reading an article today that stated that people with high IQ's that have trouble with social skills, memory, being punctual (on time), emotional control, and "growing up" are likely to have issues with Executive Function.

My question is, what is the difference between Executive Function and IQ?

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IQ is a measurement that is believed to correlate with certain aspects of 'intelligence'. Executive function is "an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, multi-tasking, initiation and monitoring of actions." Thus, I don't understand your question. Is your question: "What is the difference between a measurement and a family of cognitive processes?" –  Artem Kaznatcheev Mar 17 '12 at 3:08
    
I have voted to close this question since it is not clear what is being asked, and since I believe it doesn't meet our criteria on initial research. I think there are interesting underlying questions, maybe something like "Does IQ correlate with the performance of executive function?" (of course, you would have to make the question more precise in the body) and I encourage the OP read the relevant wikipedia articles and either edit the question, or formulate a new one. –  Artem Kaznatcheev Mar 17 '12 at 3:11
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I think the concepts you're trying to understand here are too large, and incomparable. I'm voting to close this, but I think asking questions to learn more about the "pieces" (IQ, executive function, Dopamine receptors, emotional control) could be a good idea. Each one itself is a vast, vast topic. I don't think this is the wrong stack exchange, but I do think the question needs to be whittled down if it is to produce an insightful answer! –  Preece Mar 17 '12 at 10:22
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As this question had three downvotes, two close votes and was starting to attract flags, I have closed it. Please be aware that this is not permanent! I will gladly reopen this question once the concerns of the community have been addressed! If you need help improving this question, please either ask on Meta or visit us in chat and we'll be glad to help get this question back on track. –  Josh Gitlin Mar 17 '12 at 14:19
    
@JoshGitlin Okay I'll have to do that, when I went to ask my own mother this question she quickly told me that the topics were a bit far apart for any answering of the question...sorry about that... –  leeand00 Mar 17 '12 at 14:40

1 Answer 1

As I mentioned in my comment: IQ is a measurement that is believed to correlate with certain aspects of 'intelligence'. Executive function is "an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, multi-tasking, initiation and monitoring of actions." The two are not directly comparable.

However there are measures of executive function through tests like Wisconsin card sorting, verbal fluency, and trial making, cognitive estimates test, verbal fluency for animals, simplified six element (Burgess et al., 1998; Ardila, Pineda, & Rosselli, 2000). Burges et al. (1998) found that these load on 3 main factors: inhibition, intentionality, and executive memory. Ardila et al. (2000) found that these tests do not correlate well with IQ tests and concluded that traditional intelligence tests are not an appropriate metric for executive function.

However, Mahone et al. (2002) studied normal and ADHD children and found that some measures of executive function (Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure, Variables of Attention – Visual Test, Letter Word Fluency) correlated moderately with IQ. In fact IQ scores accounted for a greater proportion of variance in the EF measures (~10% of the variance) than the diagnosis of ADHD (~0.4% of the variance). They also found that measures of executive function at average IQ differ between children with ADHD and those without. However, this effect disappears for children with above average IQ.

To me this discrepancy suggests that we don't know how to measure executive function very well. This is to be expected, since a huge umbrella term like executive function is a tell-tale sign that we are lumping a lot of things we don't understand well together under one umbrella until we learn more.

References

  • Ardila, A., Pineda, D., & Rosselli, M. [2000] "Correlation Between Intelligence Test Scores and ExecutiveFunction Measures." Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 15(1): 31-36.

  • Burgess, P.W., Alderman, N., Evans, J., Emslie, H., & Wilson, B.A. [1998] "The ecological validity of tests of executive function." Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 4: 547-558.

  • Mahone, E.M., Hagelthorn, K.M., Cutting, L.E., Schuerholz, L.J., Pelletier, S.F., Rawlins, C., Singer, H.S., & Denckla, M.B. [200] "Effects of IQ on Executive Function Measures in Children with ADHD." Child Neuropsychology 8(1): 52-65.

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