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Psychol Bull. 2005 Jan;131(1):61-5; author reply 72-5.

Working memory and intelligence--their correlation and their relation: comment on Ackerman, Beier, and Boyle (2005).

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Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.


On the basis of a meta-analysis of pairwise correlations between working memory tasks and cognitive ability measures, P. L. Ackerman, M. E. Beier, and M. O. Boyle (2005; see record 2004-22408-002) claimed that working memory capacity (WMC) shares less than 25% of its variance with general intelligence (g) and with reasoning ability. In this comment, the authors argue that this is an underestimation because of several methodological shortcomings and biases. A reanalysis of the data reported in Ackerman et al. using the correct statistical procedures demonstrates that g and WMC are very highly correlated. On a conceptual level, the authors point out that WMC should be regarded as an explanatory construct for intellectual abilities. Theories of working memory do not claim that WMC is isomorphic with intelligence factors but that it is a very strong predictor of reasoning ability and also predicts general fluid intelligence and g.

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