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Assessing working memory capacity through time-constrained elementary activities.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2014
Author Lucidi Annalisa, Loaiza Vanessa, Camos Valerie, Barrouillet Pierre,
Project What is attentional refreshing?
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of General Psychology
Volume (Issue) 141(2)
Page(s) 98 - 112
Title of proceedings Journal of General Psychology
DOI 10.1080/00221309.2013.870121


Working memory (WM) capacity measured through complex span tasks is among the best predictors of fluid intelligence (Gf). These tasks usually involve maintaining memoranda while performing complex cognitive activities that require a rather high level of education (e.g., reading comprehension, arithmetic), restricting their range of applicability. Because individual differences in such complex activities are nothing more than the concatenation of small differences in their elementary constituents, complex span tasks involving elementary processes should be as good of predictors of Gf as traditional tasks. The present study showed that two latent variables issued from either traditional or new span tasks involving time-constrained elementary activities were similarly correlated with Gf. Moreover, a model with a single unitary WM factor had a similar fit as a model with two distinct WM factors. Thus, time-constrained elementary activities can be integrated in WM tasks, permitting the assessment of WM in a wider range of populations.