Individual differences in complex memory span and episodic retrieval: examining the dynamics of delayed and continuous distractor free recall

Show full item record

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1853/10463

Title: Individual differences in complex memory span and episodic retrieval: examining the dynamics of delayed and continuous distractor free recall
Author: Unsworth, David I.
Abstract: Individual differences on complex memory spans predict a variety of higher-order cognitive tasks (e.g. reading comprehension, reasoning, following direction) as well as low-level attention tasks (e.g. Stroop, dichotic listening, antisaccade). The current study attempted to better determine the role of individual differences in complex memory span and episodic retrieval. Specifically, two experiments explored the possibility that individual differences in complex memory span reflect differences in the ability to successfully retrieve items from secondary memory via a cue-dependent search process. High and low complex span participants were tested in delayed (Experiment 1) and continuous distractor (Experiment 2) free recall with varying list-lengths. Across both experiments low spans recalled fewer items than high spans, recalled more previous list intrusions than high spans, and recalled at a slower rate than high spans. It is argued that low spans search through a larger set of items than high spans and, thus low spans episodic retrieval deficits are associated with an inability to use cues to guide a search and retrieval process of secondary memory. Implications for dual-component models of memory are discussed.
Type: Dissertation
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1853/10463
Date: 2006-03-15
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Subject: Free recall
Search sets
Working memory capacity
Complex span
Short-term memory
Cognition
Memory Ability testing
Department: Psychology
Advisor: Committee Chair: Engle, Randall; Committee Member: Corballis, Paul; Committee Member: Smith, Anderson; Committee Member: Spieler, Daniel; Committee Member: Washburn, David
Degree: Ph.D.

All materials in SMARTech are protected under U.S. Copyright Law and all rights are reserved, unless otherwise specifically indicated on or in the materials.

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Unsworth_David_I_200605_phd.pdf 433.7Kb PDF View/ Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record