Conflation between self-report and neurocognitive assessments of cognitive flexibility: a critical review of the Jingle Fallacy

Caitlin A. Howlett, Stephanie Miles, Carolyn Berryman, Andrea Phillipou, G. Lorimer Moseley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive flexibility is a widely studied construct and is considered an important treatment target for several psychological disorders. The convergence of several independent fields of research has led to assumptions about the assessment of cognitive flexibility–assumptions that are not empirically supported and often conflate different notions of flexibility. This critical review discusses how the conflation of self-report and neurocognitive assessments has seemingly arisen from literature on eating disorders. We describe how seminal early observations of “inflexible” personality characteristics, communication competence research, and investigations of frontal lobe function after injury led to two methods of assessing “cognitive flexibility”. We discuss the impact that conflation of self-report and neurocognitive assessments has had on the field, and we provide recommendations for assessing cognitive flexibility in both research and clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2174684
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Executive function
  • feeding and eating disorders
  • neuropsychology
  • personality
  • surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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