Working memory capacity and age as determinants of performance in the balls and boxes puzzle

Xiao, Su (2007) Working memory capacity and age as determinants of performance in the balls and boxes puzzle. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (4MB)


Reber and Kotovsky (1997) claimed that even though learning to solve the Balls and Boxes puzzle is implicit, it is slowed by a secondary task, thus suggesting that implicit learning requires attentional capacity. In the present study, this suggestion and the degree to which implicit learning can be attributed to age-correlated changes were tested by comparing individuals differing in test-defined working memory (WM) capacity. Retrospective verbal reports, a move-selection test, and Trial 2 performance data all indicated that participants were unaware of their knowledge of the puzzle, suggesting implicit learning. However, speak-span scores did not correlate with performance measures on either the learning or transfer trial. It appears that in the absence of a secondary task, WM capacity did not affect learning or transfer in the Balls and Boxes puzzle. Moreover, inconsistent with Rebel's (1992, 1993) age-independent assumption, substantial developmental changes on performance were found when the children in the present study were compared to the adults in Reber and Kotovsky's (1997) study.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9416
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 62-70)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Implicit learning; Memory--Age factors; Memory--Testing; Short-term memory

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics