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A Mechanistic Account of the Relation between Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Intelligence

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Working memory capacity and fluid intelligence are important predictors of performance in educational settings. Thus, understanding the processes underlying the relation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence is important.

Working memory capacity and fluid intelligence are important predictors of performance in educational settings. Thus, understanding the processes underlying the relation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence is important. Three large scale individual differences experiments were conducted to determine the mechanisms underlying the relation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence. Experiments 1 and 2 were designed to assess whether individual differences in strategic behavior contribute to the variance shared between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence. In Experiment 3, competing theories for describing the underlying processes (cognitive vs. strategy) were evaluated in a comprehensive examination of potential underlying mechanisms. These data help inform existing theories about the mechanisms underlying the relation between WMC and gF. However, these data also indicate that the current theoretical model of the shared variance between WMC and gF would need to be revised to account for the data in Experiment 3. Possible sources of misfit are considered in the discussion along with a consideration of the theoretical implications of observing those relations in the Experiment 3 data.

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  • 2018