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Intelligence test items varying in capacity demands cannot be used to test the causality of working memory capacity for fluid intelligence


Frischkorn, Gidon T; Oberauer, Klaus (2020). Intelligence test items varying in capacity demands cannot be used to test the causality of working memory capacity for fluid intelligence. PsyArXiv Preprints o.Nr., University of Zurich.

Abstract

There is a strong relationship between fluid intelligence and working memory capacity (WMC). Yet, the cognitive mechanisms underlying this relationship remain elusive. The capacity hypothesis states that this relationship is due to limitations in the amount of information that can be stored and held active in working memory. Previous research aimed at testing the capacity hypothesis assumed that it implies stronger relationships of intelligence test performance with WMC for test items with higher capacity demands. The present article addresses this assumption through simulations of three theoretical models implementing the capacity hypothesis while systematically varying different psychometric variables. The results show that almost any relation between items’ capacity demands and their correlation with WMC can be obtained. Therefore, the assumption made by previous studies does not hold: The capacity hypothesis does not imply stronger correlations of WMC and intelligence test items with higher capacity demands. Items varying in capacity demands cannot be used to test the causality of WMC (or any other latent variable) for fluid intelligence.

Abstract

There is a strong relationship between fluid intelligence and working memory capacity (WMC). Yet, the cognitive mechanisms underlying this relationship remain elusive. The capacity hypothesis states that this relationship is due to limitations in the amount of information that can be stored and held active in working memory. Previous research aimed at testing the capacity hypothesis assumed that it implies stronger relationships of intelligence test performance with WMC for test items with higher capacity demands. The present article addresses this assumption through simulations of three theoretical models implementing the capacity hypothesis while systematically varying different psychometric variables. The results show that almost any relation between items’ capacity demands and their correlation with WMC can be obtained. Therefore, the assumption made by previous studies does not hold: The capacity hypothesis does not imply stronger correlations of WMC and intelligence test items with higher capacity demands. Items varying in capacity demands cannot be used to test the causality of WMC (or any other latent variable) for fluid intelligence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:20 Jan 2021 16:39
Last Modified:18 Mar 2022 09:52
Series Name:PsyArXiv Preprints
ISSN:0010-9452
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/quyj5
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English