Contribution of strategy use to performance on complex and simple span tasks.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael J. Kane, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Simple and complex span tasks are widely thought to measure related but separable memory constructs. Recently, however, research has demonstrated that simple and complex span tasks may tap, in part, the same construct because both similarly predict performance on measures of fluid intelligence (Gf) when the number of items retrieved from secondary memory (SM) is equated (Unsworth & Engle, Journal of Memory and Language 54:68-80 2006). Two studies (n = 105 and n = 152) evaluated whether retrieval from SM is influenced by individual differences in the use of encoding strategies during span tasks. Results demonstrated that, after equating the number of items retrieved from SM, simple and complex span performance similarly predicted Gf performance, but rates of effective strategy use did not mediate the span-Gf relationships. Moreover, at the level of individual differences, effective strategy use was more highly related to complex span performance than to simple span performance. Thus, even though individual differences in effective strategy use influenced span performance on trials that required retrieval from SM, strategic behavior at encoding cannot account for the similarities between simple and complex span tasks.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
working memory, short-term memory, secondary memory, fluid intelligence, psychology, cognition, memory

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