The effect of working memory load on intelligence test performance at different timings (Beat the metronome)
Psychological Institute, Personality Research and Diagnostics
December 2021 - January 2022
There is a broad consensus that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) are strongly related to individual differences in intelligence. However, correlational studies do not allow conclusions about the causal nature of the relationship between WMC and fluid
intelligence. While research on the cognitive basis of intelligence typically assumes that simpler lower-level cognitive processes contribute to individual differences in higher-order reasoning processes, a reversed causality or a third variable giving rise to two intrinsically uncorrelated variables may exist. In the present study, we investigated the causal nature of the relationship between WMC and intelligence by assessing the experimental effect of working memory load on intelligence test performance. Moreover, we tested if the effect of working memory load on intelligence test performance increased under time constraints, as previous studies have shown that the association between the two constructs increases if intelligence tests are administered with a strict time limit. We examined a sample of 121 participants. The measurement occasions took place in one-on-one sessions of 2.5 hours each.