The effects of cognitive and affective variables on academic ability: A multivariate analysis

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    This study deals with two questions: (a) What are the net effects of affective and cognitive variables on two measures of academic ability? (b) What is the net effect of Socioeconomic Status (SES) on academic ability when the cognitive and affective variables are held constant? The data, collected on 171 Israeli seventh grade boys, were analyzed twice: Once at the empirical variables level (correlations and multiple regression) and once by applying abstract variable analysis which, presumably, controls for measurement errors. The results show (a) that the net effect of the affective variables on academic ability is almost nil but undergoes a revival when abstract variable analysis is applied; (b) that reading comprehension has the strongest effect on academic ability; and (c) that in a multiple regression analysis—controlling for the effects of affective and cognitive variables—the effect of SES on academic ability is substantially reduced but does not completely disappear. It is suggested that the lower academic ability of lower class children may in part be affected by status-related factors like the child's functioning in his role as a pupil, and that future research include them in a model explaining SES effects on academic ability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)266-275
    Number of pages10
    JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1980

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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