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An investigation of the effect of retest practice on the relationship between speed and ability in attention, memory and working memory tasks


Journal: Psychology Science Quarterly
ISSN 1866-6140

Volume: 51;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 420;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Retest practice | attention | working memory | reaction time | ability | trend analysis

The research work reported in this paper addresses the question whether retest practice changes the speed-ability relationship. In three successive test sessions several cognitive tests of attention, memory and working memory were administered: Attention Switching Task, Continuous Attention Task, Memory Scanning Task, Letter Comparison Task, and Maintenance Summation Task. Retest practice led to substantial decreases of mean reaction time in the memory and working memory tasks while in attention tasks the effect was small or even insignificant. Intercepts, slopes and components representing sources with a constant, increasing and decreasing influence on responding were computed and correlated with ability. The results revealed that the correlation of the Letter Comparison task was large independently of retest practice. In contrast, for the Maintenance Summation Task the highest correlation was observed for the component representing the source with an increasing influence. Some retest practice seems to be necessary in order to establish the relationship of working memory and ability.
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