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Role of Working‐Memory Capacity in Cognitive Control

Randall W. Engle
Current Anthropology
Vol. 51, No. S1, Working Memory: Beyond Language and Symbolism (June 2010), pp. S17-S26
DOI: 10.1086/650572
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/650572
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Role of Working‐Memory Capacity in Cognitive Control
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Abstract

This paper discusses the psychometric properties important to the measurement of working memory. Domain‐specific aspects of working memory, such as the phonological loop and store and the visual and spatial stores, are important to the performance of many real‐world tasks and were probably important to the evolution of the modern mind. However, there is little work demonstrating the critical psychometric properties of reliability and validity of measurement of these domain‐specific stores. The domain‐general aspect of working memory—attention control—on the other hand, has established reliability and validity of measurement. Individual differences in domain‐general working‐memory capacity have been shown to be important to a wide range of both speech‐based and visual/spatial‐based tasks. Working‐memory capacity appears to be both a trait and a state variable.

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