Individuals with high working memory capacity are intelligent and obtain excellent grades?
Of course, this headline is somewhat unscientifically formulated. But indeed, our research shows that the ability to momentarily store and simulataaneously process information (i.e. working memory capacity) is very important for our cognitive functioning. In one of our studies, as an example, we could show that working memory capacity is highly predictive of fluid intelligence. That is not really surprising. What is surprising, however, is the very high correlation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence.
Working memory is also involved in daily tasks which consist of an internal structure, that is, tasks that cannot be solved immediately but need a stepwise cognitive approach. Mathematical problems are such tasks. If you forget the intermediate result, there is no chance you can solve the whole mathematical problem. Our research confirms this: There is a substantial correlation between students' working memory capacity and their math grades. This implies that we might, for example, help low performing students by teaching strategies on how to sequentially solve math problems
Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., & Lipnevich, A. A. (2014). Specific cognitive abilities at work: A brief summary from two perspectives. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 13, 117-122. doi: 10.1027/1866-5888/a000117
Mojzisch, A., Krumm, S., & Schultze, T. (2014). Do high working memory groups perform better? A conceptual approach linking individual differences in working memory capacity to group performance. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 13, 134-145. doi: 10.1027/1866-5888/a000111
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