Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity and Retrieval: A Cue-Dependent Search Approach


T he ability to accurately and efficiently retrieve infor. mation from memory is a critical component for successful performance on a number of tasks. Take for instance, performance on a reading comprehension task. Here, an individual is required to read a number of passages and then answer questions concerning those passages. Assuming that the individual accurately encodes and stores (e.g., Melton, 1963) the information, all that is needed to answer the ques­ tions is accurate retrieval of the desired information. The pertinent question is, how does the individual go about retrieving the desired information? Additionally, · what factors are needed in order for the desired information to be accessed? These basic questions regarding human memory retrieval provide the core con­ cepts in understanding remembering; that is, as advocated by Roediger (2000) and Tulving (1983), in order to understand memory, we must understand retrieval processes. The work presented in this chapter was heavily infl uenced by the work of Roediger (2000), in terms of the importance of retrieval processes. Additionally, as will become evident later on, the work presented here was infl uenced by the Baddeley and Hitch (1974) working memory model, Tulving's arguments for cue-dependent forgetting (Tulving, 1983), Watkins's notion of cue-overload (1979), Shiffrin's elaboration of these concepts into a formal model of cue­ dependent search (1970; see also Raaijmakers & Shiffrin, 1981), Glenberg's emphasis on temporal-contextual search (1987), and Wixted and Rohrer's work examining cumulative latency distributions in terms of a random search model call to combine eXperimental investigations with individual differences analyses in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying process. Thus, in this chapter we will advoca te the view that not only is it important to examine retrieval processes from

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@inproceedings{Unsworth2007IndividualDI, title={Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity and Retrieval: A Cue-Dependent Search Approach}, author={Nash Unsworth and Randall W. Engle}, year={2007} }