Whichever way you choose to categorize, working memory helps you learn

Stewart Craig, Stephan Lewandowsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There has been growing interest in the relationship between the capacity of a person's working memory and their ability to learn to categorize stimuli. While there is evidence that working memory capacity (WMC) is related to the speed of category learning, it is unknown whether WMC predicts which strategies people use when there are multiple possible solutions to a categorization problem. To explore the relationship between WMC, category learning, and categorization strategy use, 173 participants completed two categorization tasks and a battery of WMC tasks. WMC predicted the speed of category learning, but it did not predict which strategies participants chose to perform categorization. Thus, WMC does not predict which categorization strategies people use but it predicts how well they will use the strategy they select.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-464
Number of pages26
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Structured keywords

  • Memory

Keywords

  • Categorization
  • Working memory capacity
  • Strategy use
  • MODELING INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • READING SPAN TEST
  • STRATEGY USE
  • SIMPLICITY PRINCIPLE
  • EXECUTIVE ATTENTION
  • CAPACITY
  • CLASSIFICATION
  • INFORMATION
  • TASK
  • INTELLIGENCE

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