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ERIC Number: EJ934227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 100
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Working Memory Capacity and Categorization: Individual Differences and Modeling
Lewandowsky, Stephan
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n3 p720-738 May 2011
Working memory is crucial for many higher-level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization, and modeling in category learning has thus far been largely uninformed by knowledge about people's memory processes. This article reports a large study (N = 113) that related people's working memory capacity (WMC) to their category-learning performance using the 6 problem types of Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961). Structural equation modeling revealed a strong relationship between WMC and category learning, with a single latent variable accommodating performance on all 6 problems. A model of categorization (the Attention Learning COVEring map, ALCOVE; Kruschke, 1992) was fit to the individual data and a single latent variable was sufficient to capture the variation among associative learning parameters across all problems. The data and modeling suggest that working memory mediates category learning across a broad range of tasks. (Contains 7 figures, 5 tables and 8 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia