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Working Memory


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

Krumm, S., Lipnevich, A., Schmidt-Atzert, L. & Bühner, M. (2012). Relational integration as a predictor of academic achievement. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 759-769.

Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., Schmidt, S., Zenses, E.-M. & Stenzel, N. (2012). Attention tests in different stimulus presentation modes: A facet model of performance in attention tests. Journal of Individual Differences, 33(3), 146-159.

Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., Bracht, M. & Ochs, L. (2011). Coordination as a crucial component of performances in a sustained attention test: Evidences with the digit-symbol substitution test. Journal of Individual Differences, 32, 117-128.

Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., Bühner, M., Ziegler, M., Michalczyk, K. & Arrow, K. (2009). Storage and non-storage components of working memory predicting reasoning: A simultaneous examination of a wide range of ability factors. Intelligence, 37, 347-364.

Krumm, S., Ziegler, M. & Bühner, M. (2008). Reasoning and working memory as predictors of school grades. Learning and Individual Differences, 18, 248-257.

Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L. & Eschert, S. (2008). Investigating the structure of attention: How do test characteristics of paper-pencil sustained attention tests influence their relationship with other attention tests? European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 24, 108-116.

Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., Michalczyk, K. & Danthiir, V. (2008). Speeded paper-pencil sustained attention and mental speed tests: Can performances be discriminated? Journal of Individual Differences, 29, 205-216.

Schmidt-Atzert, L. & Krumm, S. (2008). Zur Validität von Aufmerksamkeits- und Konzentrationstests. Report Psychologie, 3, 126-138.

Bühner, M., Krumm, S., Ziegler, M. & Plücken, T. (2006). Cognitive abilities and their interplay: Reasoning, crystallized intelligence, working memory components, and sustained attention. Journal of Individual Differences, 27, 57-72.

Bühner, M., König, C., Pick, M. & Krumm, S. (2006). Working memory dimensions as differential predictors of the speed and error aspect of multitasking performance. Human Performance, 19, 253-275.

Bühner, M., Krumm, S. & Pick, M. (2005). Intelligence = working memory ≠ attention. Intelligence, 33, 251-272.