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Effects of Speaking Aloud on Measures of Intelligence and Working Memory Capacity

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Previous research has yielded an equivocal answer as to whether speaking aloud while performing intelligence tasks improves, impairs, or has no effect on performance. Some studies show that it impairs

Previous research has yielded an equivocal answer as to whether speaking aloud while performing intelligence tasks improves, impairs, or has no effect on performance. Some studies show that it impairs performance while others show it aids performance. In the studies in which speaking aloud has been shown to help, only children and older adults benefitted. The present study investigated whether college-aged students benefit from speaking aloud while performing a fluid intelligence test. Subjects performed a battery of working memory and intelligence tasks silently. Once they had completed each task, the participants took them again, though this time they spoke aloud while completing the tests. Results showed that subjects did insignificantly worse on the working memory tests when speaking aloud. However, subjects performed significantly better on the measures of fluid intelligence while speaking aloud as opposed to doing them silently. At an individual differences level, low working memory capacity participants benefited more from speaking aloud than the high working memory ones. Finally, we found a positive correlation between working memory scores and fluid intelligence scores, offering further evidence that the two constructs are related, yet different.

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  • 2012-12