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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1992 Sep;18(5):972-92.

Individual differences in working memory and comprehension: a test of four hypotheses.

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Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208.


A relationship has consistently been found between measures of working memory and reading comprehension. Four hypotheses for this relationship were tested in 3 experiments. In the first 2 experiments, a moving window procedure was used to present the operation-word and reading span tasks. High- and low-span subjects did not differentially trade off time on the elements of the tasks and the to-be-remembered word. Furthermore, the correlation between span and comprehension was undiminished when the viewing times were partialed out. Experiment 3 compared a traditional experimenter-paced simple word-span and a subject-paced span in their relationship with comprehension. The experimenter-paced word-span correlated with comprehension but the subject-paced span did not. The results of all 3 experiments support a general capacity explanation for the relationship between working memory and comprehension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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