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Cognitive psychology experiment - Lab Report Example

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Working Memory Experiment: Assessing the Relationships Shared by Different Tasks Measuring Working Memory Capacity Abstract This experiment was carried out to test the relationships between different tasks that measure Working Memory capacity. It was proposed that all four tasks – MU, OS, SS and SSTM – would be significantly correlated and that MU, OS and SS would share stronger relationships among themselves than with SSTM…
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction Human memory has been of interest to both, theoretical and experimental psychologists for a long time. A traditional model of memory suggested that individuals have a passive short term store (STM) where information is rehearsed, and then sent to a long term store. Over time, the description of the STM was found to be lacking, and Baddeley and Hitch (1974) proposed the concept of the Working Memory (WM). This refers to an individual’s ability to not only rehearse but also to manipulate information during a short period of time. They suggested that the WM consisted of a processing system called the central executive that oversees the working of two slave systems – the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad. The phonological loop processes verbal and numerical information, while the visuospatial sketchpad processes spatial information. The central executive is believed to incorporate the information from both these sources to aid the overall information processing (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974). This suggests that the WM is a far more active component as compared to the concept of the STM. ...
Solving of mathematical problems as well as the individual differences in doing so can be explained using WM (Hitch, Towse & Hutton, 2001). It is believed that differences in WM capacity may explain differences in reasoning (Kyllonen & Christal, 1990) and attentional control (Kane, Bleckley, Conway, & Engle, 2001). Thus, measuring the capacity of WM can help explain differences in intelligence and ability as well (Kyllonen & Christal, 1990). A number of different tasks have been used to measure WM capacity. Lewandowsky, Oberauer, Yang and Ecker (2010) have demonstrated the utility of four tasks that measure different processes in WM including spatial reasoning, numerical ability, verbal ability, and updating of information. Schmiedek et al. (2009) suggest that updating of information uses the same processes as storing information in WM. Conway et al. (2005) believe all methods of measuring WM capacity share similar features, while other results by Oberauer (2005) suggest that the relationships shared by verbal and spatial tasks is not perfect. Based on these finding, the following hypotheses were proposed: All four tasks will be significantly related to one another to indicate that they all measure WM capacity. Tasks associated with the use of the phonological loop (MU, OS and SS) will share stronger relationships with each other than they will with SSTM. Method An experimental study was conducted to verify the relationships shared by four WM tasks similar to those described by Lewandowsky et al. (2010). The study used a correlational design to test the different hypotheses. Participants Initially, data was collected for all four tasks from 444 participants. All participants were college students taking the 2215 and the 3315 courses. The age and gender of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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