The role of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence in the organization of memory
Harrison, Tyler Leland
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One of the best ways to increase memory performance on a task is to organize the to-be-remembered material (Postman, 1972). Throughout a number of experiments, the amount a subject organizes a list of words has been shown to be related to their overall recall performance (e.g., Mandler & Pearlstone, 1966). However, few studies have investigated whether other cognitive abilities are related to the organization of memory and whether these other abilities contribute to the relationship between organization and memory performance. In the present study subjects completed four sets of multitrial free recall and the consistency in which subjects recalled words (a measure of organization) was compared to performance on multiple measures of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence. I show that working memory capacity is related to the organization of memory particularly when subjects were told to use an organizational strategy and that fluid intelligence is related to organization regardless of strategy. Additionally, both working memory capacity and organization predict unique variance in immediate free recall performance.