Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity and Shooting Behavior

Gene Brewer, B. Hunter Ball, Jillian M. Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Previous research on the relation between working memory capacity (WMC) and shooting behavior suggests that individuals with low working memory spans are more prone to shooting errors than are individuals with high working memory spans. The present study investigated how WMC interacts with the proportion of “shoot” to “don't shoot” decisions to affect overall shooting performance. Participants were 186 undergraduate students who completed a series of complex span tasks, rated a series of negative photographs for valence and arousal, and then completed a computerized shooting task in which participants were shooting on 20%, 50%, or 80% of the trials. Results indicated that participants with high working memory spans outperformed participants with low working memory spans in all conditions. Participants also exhibited a greater tendency to inappropriately shoot as the proportion of shoot decisions increased. These results suggest that WMC and the proportion of shoot trials interact to affect shooting behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Individual differences
  • Shooting behavior
  • Working memory capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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