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Title: Exploring the relationship between aspects of cognitive and meta-cognitive function and the workplace success of dyslexic people
Author: Leather, Carol Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 5312
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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Objective: To explore how cognitive and metacognitive function influences workplace success in dyslexic adults. Background: Prior research suggests that dyslexic adults experience difficulties with executive functioning and developing metacognitive skill, in addition to continuing problems with literacy. This thesis proposes that these difficulties may affect their performance at work. This research therefore aims to investigate these aspects of cognitive and metacognitive function to discover how they relate to workplace success. These findings will provide evidence to inform interventions for dyslexic adults in the workplace. Method: Three studies were conducted. The first study (n=180 dyslexics) established the workplace success criteria: job satisfaction, self-efficacy, academic qualifications and financial success; and explored the relationship with cognitive function in terms of planning and executive attention (the Cognitive failures questionnaire, Broadbent et al.,1982)). The second study (n=116 dyslexics) assessed the participants’ metacognitive skills, confidence and problem solving and investigated the relationships with workplace success criteria. The third study (n=60 dyslexics) assessed executive functioning skills of updating, inhibition and shifting (Miyake et al., 2000) and explored the relationships with workplace success criteria. The data from all three studies were compared with a non-dyslexic control group (n= 30). Variations between the dyslexic and control groups on metacognitive and executive skill were anticipated, and the relationships between these differences and workplace success were investigated. Results: Study 1 found that cognitive failures were related to aspects of workplace success in dyslexics, and that dyslexics experienced more cognitive failures than the control group. But there were no differences between dyslexic and controls in planning or overall workplace success. Study 2 found that metacognitive skill was related to aspects of workplace success in both dyslexics and controls. Dyslexics had less metacognitive self-understanding than controls, but other aspects of metacognition were similar. Study 3 found no clear relationship between executive function and workplace success, but dyslexics performed less well than controls in aspects of working memory. Conclusion: Dyslexic participants attained comparable levels of workplace success despite deficits in working memory processes and self-understanding, and weaker literacy skills. However similar workplace success could not be attributed to compensatory use of metacognitive skills by dyslexics because dyslexics did not have greater metacognitive skill. Possible explanations and recommendations for further research are discussed.
Supervisor: Banks, Adrian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral