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Mutualistic Coupling Between Vocabulary and Reasoning in Young Children: A Replication and Extension of the Study by Kievit et al. (2017).

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Kievit, Rogier A 
Hofman, Abe D 
Nation, Kate 


Recent work suggests that the positive manifold of individual differences may arise, or be amplified, by a mechanism called mutualism. Kievit et al. (2017) showed that a latent change score implementation of the mutualism model outperformed alternative models, demonstrating positive reciprocal interactions between vocabulary and reasoning during development. Here, we replicated these findings in a cohort of children ( N = 227, 6-8 years old) and expanded the findings in three directions. First, a third wave of data was included, and the findings were robust to alternative model specifications. Second, a simulation demonstrated that data sets of similar magnitude and distributional properties could have, in principle, favored alternative models with close to 100% power. Third, we found support for the hypothesis that mutualistic-coupling effects are stronger and self-feedback parameters weaker in younger children. Together, these findings replicated the work of Kievit et al. (2017) and further support the hypothesis that mutualism supports cognitive development.



development, intelligence, open data, psychometrics, reasoning, vocabulary

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Psychological Science

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SAGE Publications
Wellcome Trust (095844/Z/11/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_UP_1401/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/9)
Wellcome Trust (107392/Z/15/Z)