The Use of Dual Task Paradigms in Memory Research: A Methodological Assessment and an Evaluation of Effort as a Measure of Levels of Processing.
ILLINOIS UNIV CHAMPAIGN HUMAN ATTENTION RESEARCH LAB
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Results from dual task experiments have often been used to make inferences concerning memorial processes. However, many dual task experiments are based on invalid methodological assumptions. Three major assumptions which are implicitly assumed by current dual task memory research are shown to be inappropriate. Criteria which should be met in dual task experiments that draw inferences from secondary task decrements are discussed. A dual task experiment meeting the proposed criteria was conducted. Contrary to previous dual task research, the present experiment demonstrates that a carefully controlled dual task experiment shows that primary task effort is neither monotonically related to levels of processing, nor does it produce better memory for verbal stimuli. It is concluded that researchers must carefully consider the assumptions inherent in any dual task experiment when designing such experiments. Author