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Individual differences in updating are not related to reasoning ability and working memory capacity


Frischkorn, Gidon T; Von Bastian, Claudia C; Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus (2022). Individual differences in updating are not related to reasoning ability and working memory capacity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151(6):1341-1357.

Abstract

Previous research assumes that executive functions such as inhibition, shifting, and updating explain individual differences in cognitive abilities. Of these three executive functions, updating was previously found to relate most strongly to fluid intelligence. However, this relationship could be a methodological artifact: Measures of inhibition and shifting usually isolate the contribution of this executive function to performance by contrasting conditions with high and low demands on these processes, whereas updating is measured by overall accuracy in working memory tasks involving updating. This updating measure conflates updating-specific individual differences (e.g., removal of outdated information) with variance in working memory maintenance. Reanalyzing data (N = 111) from von Bastian et al. (2016), we separated updating-specific variance from working memory maintenance variance. Updating contributed only 15% to individual differences in performance in the updating tasks, and it correlated neither with fluid intelligence nor with independent working memory measures reflecting storage and processing or relational integration. In contrast, the working memory maintenance component of the updating task correlated with both abilities. These findings challenge the view that updating contributes to variance in higher cognitive abilities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Abstract

Previous research assumes that executive functions such as inhibition, shifting, and updating explain individual differences in cognitive abilities. Of these three executive functions, updating was previously found to relate most strongly to fluid intelligence. However, this relationship could be a methodological artifact: Measures of inhibition and shifting usually isolate the contribution of this executive function to performance by contrasting conditions with high and low demands on these processes, whereas updating is measured by overall accuracy in working memory tasks involving updating. This updating measure conflates updating-specific individual differences (e.g., removal of outdated information) with variance in working memory maintenance. Reanalyzing data (N = 111) from von Bastian et al. (2016), we separated updating-specific variance from working memory maintenance variance. Updating contributed only 15% to individual differences in performance in the updating tasks, and it correlated neither with fluid intelligence nor with independent working memory measures reflecting storage and processing or relational integration. In contrast, the working memory maintenance component of the updating task correlated with both abilities. These findings challenge the view that updating contributes to variance in higher cognitive abilities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, 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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Life Sciences > Developmental Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 June 2022
Deposited On:02 May 2022 13:39
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 02:40
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0096-3445
Additional Information:This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors permission. The final article will be available, upon publication, via its DOI: 10.1037/xge0001141
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0001141
Related URLs:https://psyarxiv.com/92uhb/
PubMed ID:35201837
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English