The Relationship Among Working Memory

The general focus of this research is to examine performance in standard cognitive frameworks and online tasks. The researchers hope to examine the influence that math anxiety exerts on mathematical cognition and to identify the processing components that are so influenced. HYPOTHESIS: The higher the math anxiety, the lower the working memory capacity, the higher the probability to get a low performance.

VARIABLES: IV – math anxietyDV –working memory capacity, performance The independent variable math anxiety is manipulated into three levels: high, medium, low. The level of anxiety is determined through the use of sMARS (short math anxiety rating scale) is a 25-item version of the most widely used measure of this construct, 98 item MARS. The sMARS assesses an individual’s level of apprehension and anxiety about math on a 1-5 Likert scale, asking for participants’ responses about how anxious they would be made by various settings and experiences. The dependent variables —– working memory capacity and performance.Salthouse and Bobcock’s listening p (L-p) and computation p (C-p) tasks assessed participants’ working memory capacity by requiring them to store increasing numbers of words or digits in working memory while processing simple verbal or arithmetic tasks. In L-p task, participants hear a number of simple sentences, one by one, and must answer a simple question about current sentence before hearing the next. In C-p test, simple arithmetic problems replace the sentences then the participants give the answer to each problem, one by one, and must recall the last number in each of the several problems within that, in order.

In experiment 2, participants see the problem and are timed as they produce its answer verbally. In experiment 3, participants were given the L-p and C-p plus they were given a letter transformation task to test working memory capacity and processes. In the performance, examines through the results of the intensive working memory tasks. PROCEDURE: Experiment 1 Experiment 2 Experiment 3 CONCLUSION: The researchers concluded with two more general remarks. First, math anxiety is not epiphenomenon — it is not a cognitive appraisal about oneself that is unrelated to the nature of mental processing.For example, statistics students who do poorly on an exam claim that they become confused, are unable to focus on the task at hand, or keep thinking about how poor they are at math. Regardless of the subjectivity of these claims, they are entirely consistent with the researchers’ main result: Math anxiety disrupts the on-going, task-relevant activities of working memory, slowing down performance and degrading its accuracy.

Second, the researchers note the positive effects of following advice with which this article began: that effect is an aspect of problem solving that deserves empirical attention.Cognitive investigations that include individual difference characteristics like math anxiety are rare, yet may prove useful in gaining an understanding of domain-specific cognitions. Furthermore, it now appears that customary assessments of working memory p, especially those using arithmetic stimuli, are sensitive to at least two classes of influences: the central capacity and processing characteristics of the individual, to be sure, but also the transitory effects of anxiety in the testing situation.Given current and important efforts that relate working memory mechanisms to processes such as reading comprehension, memory retrieval, and the like, it would be sensible to consider the possibility that anxiety or other individual difference factors may be influencing both the assessments of individuals’ working memory p and their on-line performance. * The subjects were assigned to the treatment are mixed —- in experiment 1 the lower level undergraduate sychology classes were recruited and they are to receive a credit for participating, in experiment 2 they have some subject from experiment 1 and the additional subjects volunteered their participation in return for extra credit, while in experiment 3 did again get additional subjects which also undergraduate psychology graduates . * The researchers used ANOVA — column 3 of table 2 (page 228) presents the correlation between sMARS and the remaining variables, using math anxiety group (low, medium, high) as a between-subjects variable.They also used ANOVA two-way to see if the decline in capacity differed as a function of type of p task.

* The objective of the study was realized for they have gathered two general remarks form their experiments and they have explained well the conclusions they have made regarding the relationship among working memory, math anxiety and performance.

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