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Individual Differences in Secondary Task Performance.
Interim technical rept. no. 7, 1 Apr 79-31 Mar 80,
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
Reaction time RT to secondary probes that occurred during the rehearsal period of an easy memory task were used to measure individual differences in spare capacity associated with the memory task. This measure was used to predict performance on a harder version of the memory task. Two memory tasks were investigated, one verbal and one spatial. The verbal task required subjects to recall letter-digit pairs. The spatial task involved recognition of random patterns. Probe RT was sensitive to the difficulty of the verbal memory task, and an analysis of individual differences showed that probe RT during the easy version of the verbal task was correlated with performance on a harder version of the same task. Probe RT was less sensitive to the demands of the spatial memory task, and for that task, the easy-to-hard correlation was not significant. It was concluded that capacity limitations were a determining factor in performance on the verbal but not the spatial task. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE