Unexpected costs of high working memory capacity following directed forgetting and context change manipulations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Peter F. Delaney, Associate Professor (Creator)
Lili Sahakyan, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Greater working memory capacity is usually associated with greater ability to maintain information in the face of interruptions. In two experiments, we found that some types of interruptions actually lead to greater forgetting among high-span people than among low-span people. Specifically, an instruction designed to change mental context resulted in significant forgetting for high-span people but minimal forgetting among the low-span people. Intentional forgetting instructions also resulted in greater forgetting among higher working memory capacity participants than among lower working memory capacity participants. A candidate explanation called the intensified context shift hypothesis is proposed which suggests that high-span people are more context dependent than low-span people.

Additional Information

Memory & Cognition, 35, 1074-1082
Language: English
Date: 2007
memory capacity, directed forgetting, contextual change manipulations, working memory

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