Running memory/working memory: span tasks and their prediction of higher-order cognition
Broadway, James M., Jr.
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Different versions of complex, simple, and running tests of immediate memory span were compared in their ability to predict fluid intelligence (gF). Conditions across memory tasks differed in terms of whether or not a secondary cognitive task was interleaved between to-be-remembered items (complex versus other span tasks), whether or not more items were presented than were ultimately to-be-remembered (running versus other span tasks), and whether presentation rate was relatively fast or slow (running and simple span tasks). Regressions indicated that up to 42.6% of variance in general fluid gF was explained by the memory span measures entered in different combinations. Across comparisons, shared relationships among span tasks accounted for a plurality of total variance in gF. Results indicate that in spite of procedural differences and resulting intra-individual variance in memory performance, the present memory tasks captured largely the same inter-individual variance in working memory capacity, insofar as this is important for higher-order cognition.