Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychological Science



First Reader/Committee Chair

Reimer, Jason


Previous research has shown that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are related to executive functioning (EF). However, researchers have yet to explore the differences in hot and cool EF in participants who have experienced ACEs. This current study aims to measure ACEs' effects on EF while distinguishing between hot and cool EF. We did this by administering the WCST, Stroop task, and the Visual Digit Span (backward) to capture cool EF from an undergraduate sample. Additionally, we used the IGT, the emotional Stroop, and Go/No Go (EGNG) tasks to measure hot EF in the same participants. We predicted that participants who have experienced higher adverse experiences in childhood will perform worse on hot EF and cool EF tasks than those who experienced fewer ACEs. Additionally, we predicted that scores on the EGNG and emotional Stroop task will predict performance on the IGT. We found a negative correlation between the Stroop task and the Visual Digit Span (backward), such that as interference during the Stroop task increases, performance on the VDS(B) decreases. However, we found no relationships between ACEs and performance on hot EF and cool EF tasks. We also did not find a relationship between the EGNG and the IGT or the emotional Stroop and the IGT. Future research may further explore the relationship between ACEs and hot and cool EF in the same participants to further inform how hot EF research is distinct from cool EF.