Higher-degree research being undertaken by David Hegarty




Dr Paul Ginns

Thesis title:

The effects of computerised cognitive training on executive function, academic achievement and fluid intelligence in Year 3 and Year 5 students.



Project description

This research will address previous criticisms of cognitive training literature by:

  1. using a cognitive training program that is more aligned to current executive function theory than previous research, by training executive level processes;
  2. using multiple measures for each executive function construct to estimate latent scores of executive functions;
  3. using randomly allocated experimental and active control groups that utilise similar computer-based tasks and have the same face-to-face contact time so that a realistic comparison can be made as to the efficacy of the cognitive training program;
  4. determining the impact of cognitive training on executive functions, fluid intelligence and academic achievement by following a cohort of children over a period of one year;
  5. measuring processing speed to determine if this is a potential mediating variable in cognitive training; and
  6. assessing the impact of different training expectancies between the experimental and control group and its impact upon training gains.

In addition to these student-based measures, behaviourally-based reports from teachers and parents will provide additional sources of evidence of the program’s effects. Lastly, the potential moderating effect of an individual's implicit theory of intelligence on training gains will be assessed.

David Hegarty is a teacher with over 12 years of teaching experience in primary schools. He is also a registered psychologist and has worked in a variety of high schools and primary schools as a school counsellor. He is also the proud father of a 1-year-old son and tries hard to manage his time fairly between his family and his research degree.

Professional and community roles

  • Registered Psychologist (AHPRA)
  • Associate Member Australian Psychology Society
  • Member Australian Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools
  • Member Australian College of Educators