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Working memory capacity and resistance to interference


Oberauer, Klaus; Lange, E; Engle, R W (2004). Working memory capacity and resistance to interference. Journal of Memory & Language, 51(1):80-96.

Abstract

Single-task and dual-task versions of verbal and spatial serial order memory tasks were administered to 120 students tested for working memory capacity with four previously validated measures. In the dual-task versions, similarity between the memory material and the material of the secondary processing task was varied. With verbal material, three additional words had to be read aloud in the retention interval, and their phonological and semantic similarity to memory list words was varied orthogonally. With spatial material, choice RT tasks in the retention interval used stimuli from either the same or a different kind as the memory stimuli. Similarity had little effect on dual-task costs. For correlational analyses, individual dual-task costs were measured in various ways, which varied as to their direction of correlation with working memory capacity. In general, these correlations were low. Dual-task costs, although measured reliably, did not correlate across verbal vs. spatial tasks. The results lend little support to theories identifying working memory capacity with the ability to resist interference, or the ability to coordinate two concurrent tasks. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Abstract

Single-task and dual-task versions of verbal and spatial serial order memory tasks were administered to 120 students tested for working memory capacity with four previously validated measures. In the dual-task versions, similarity between the memory material and the material of the secondary processing task was varied. With verbal material, three additional words had to be read aloud in the retention interval, and their phonological and semantic similarity to memory list words was varied orthogonally. With spatial material, choice RT tasks in the retention interval used stimuli from either the same or a different kind as the memory stimuli. Similarity had little effect on dual-task costs. For correlational analyses, individual dual-task costs were measured in various ways, which varied as to their direction of correlation with working memory capacity. In general, these correlations were low. Dual-task costs, although measured reliably, did not correlate across verbal vs. spatial tasks. The results lend little support to theories identifying working memory capacity with the ability to resist interference, or the ability to coordinate two concurrent tasks. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2004
Deposited On:09 Jul 2014 11:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:57
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0749-596X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2004.03.003

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