Are training and transfer effects of working memory updating training modulated by achievement motivation?
SourceMemory & Cognition, 46, 3, (2018), pp. 398-409
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Memory & Cognition
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Previous studies examining effects of working memory (WM) updating training revealed mixed results. One factor that might modulate training gains, and possibly also transfer of those gains to non-trained cognitive tasks, is achievement motivation. In the present Studies 1 and 2, students with either a high (HAM) or low (LAM) achievement motivation completed a 14-day visuospatial WM updating training program. In Study 2, the students also performed a set of tasks measuring other executive functions and fluid intelligence prior to and after training. In both studies, the HAM students displayed a larger training gain than the LAM students. Study 2 revealed that after training, both groups showed better performance on the near-transfer but not far-transfer tasks. Importantly, the differential training gain was not associated with better post-training performance for the HAM compared to the LAM students on any of the transfer tasks. These results are taken to support a modulatory role of achievement motivation on WM training benefits, but not on transfer of those benefits to other tasks. Possible reasons for the general improvement on the near-transfer tasks and the absence of a modulatory role of achievement motivation on transfer-task performance are discussed.
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