Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Science

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Ken Robinson

Second Advisor

Dr Ricks Allan

Abstract

Fluid intelligence and working memory has been improved by training on a visual working memory n-back task (Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides & Perrig, 2008). The present study investigated whether n-back training can improve visual memory using a test of visual recognition. A sample of 47 participants were trained for 20 days on either the single n-back task (n = 26) or a general knowledge and vocabulary task (n = 21). The results showed that training using the single n-back task did not significantly increase scores on a test of visual recognition when compared with general knowledge and vocabulary training. However, when initial scores were compared with final scores at completion of the training period, participants who had a high gain in scores on the vocabulary training task improved their visual recognition scores significantly more than those participants who had a low gain in scores on the vocabulary training task. This pattern was not repeated for those participants who were trained in the n-back task. During debrief, participants in the high gain vocabulary training group described shape recognition strategies which they used to improve their performance. It was concluded that the vocabulary task was more successful at training visual recognition than the n-back task which suggested the vocabulary task had a confounding effect on the results of this experiment.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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