Kane _ Engle, 2003 - Journal of Experimental Psychology:...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Working-Memory Capacity and the Control of Attention: The Contributions of Goal Neglect, Response Competition, and Task Set to Stroop Interference Michael J. Kane University of North Carolina at Greensboro Randall W. Engle Georgia Institute of Technology Individual differences in working-memory (WM) capacity predicted performance on the Stroop task in 5 experiments, indicating the importance of executive control and goal maintenance to selective attention. When the Stroop task encouraged goal neglect by including large numbers of congruent trials ( RED presented in red), low WM individuals committed more errors than did high WM individuals on the rare incongruent trials ( BLUE in red) that required maintaining access to the “ignore-the-word” goal for accurate responding. In contrast, in tasks with no or few congruent trials, or in high-congruency tasks that followed low-congruency tasks, WM predicted response-time interference. WM was related to latency, not accuracy, in contexts that reinforced the task goal and so minimized the difficulty of actively maintaining it. The data and a literature review suggest that Stroop interference is jointly determined by 2 mechanisms, goal maintenance and competition resolution, and that the dominance of each depends on WM capacity, as well as the task set induced by current and previous contexts. Baddeley and Hitch (1974; Baddeley, 1986, 1993) proposed a “working memory” (WM) model that emphasized the dynamic interaction of memory maintenance and attention control in the service of complex cognition. In fact, individual-difference mea- sures of WM capacity have turned out to be impressive predictors of a variety of cognitive abilities, including language comprehen- sion, learning, and fluid reasoning (e.g., Daneman & Carpenter, 1980; Kyllonen & Christal, 1990; Shute, 1991; Su ¨ß, Oberauer, Wittman, Wilhelm, & Schulze, 2002). The present investigation explored the idea that the attentional, “executive” component of the WM system is specifically responsible for the covariation between measures of WM and higher order cognition (e.g., Con- way & Kane, 2001; Engle, 2001, 2002; Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999). Our view is that simple memory ability, alone, cannot account for the strong association between WM span and complex cogni- tion. Supporting evidence comes from structural-equation- modeling studies that tested participants in “span” tasks of WM and short-term memory (STM), as well as nonverbal tests of general fluid intelligence (Conway, Cowan, Bunting, Therriault, & Minkoff, 2002; Engle, Tuholski, Laughlin, & Conway, 1999). The WM span tasks required participants to maintain information on- line while they intermittently processed unrelated information. For example, the Operation Span (OSPAN) task (Turner & Engle, 1989) interleaved short series of words to be recalled with simple equations to be solved. The STM span tasks also required imme- diate recall of word lists, but unlike the WM tasks, they did not require any additional processing of unrelated information. WM and STM span tasks were strongly correlated with each other at the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/21/2009 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 162 taught by Professor Burke during the Spring '09 term at Pomona College.

Page1 / 24

Kane _ Engle, 2003 - Journal of Experimental Psychology:...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online