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ERIC Number: EJ871438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 87
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
The Components of Working Memory Updating: An Experimental Decomposition and Individual Differences
Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus; Chee, Abby E. H.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v36 n1 p170-189 Jan 2010
Working memory updating (WMU) has been identified as a cognitive function of prime importance for everyday tasks and has also been found to be a significant predictor of higher mental abilities. Yet, little is known about the constituent processes of WMU. We suggest that operations required in a typical WMU task can be decomposed into 3 major component processes: retrieval, transformation, and substitution. We report a large-scale experiment that instantiated all possible combinations of those 3 component processes. Results show that the 3 components make independent contributions to updating performance. We additionally present structural equation models that link WMU task performance and working memory capacity (WMC) measures. These feature the methodological advancement of estimating interindividual covariation and experimental effects on mean updating measures simultaneously. The modeling results imply that WMC is a strong predictor of WMU skills in general, although some component processes--in particular, substitution skills--were independent of WMC. Hence, the reported predictive power of WMU measures may rely largely on common WM functions also measured in typical WMC tasks, although substitution skills may make an independent contribution to predicting higher mental abilities. (Contains 12 footnotes, 8 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia