Working memory capacity and strategy use

Danielle S. McNamara, Jennifer L. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine the role of strategy use in working memory (WM) tasks by providing short-term memory (STM) task strategy training to participants. In Experiment 1, the participants received four sessions of training to use a story-formation (i.e., chaining) strategy. There were substantial improvements from pretest to posttest (after training) in terms of both STM and WM task performance. Experiment 2 demonstrated that WM task improvement did not occur for control participants, who were given the same amount of practice but were not provided with strategy instructions. An assessment of participants' strategy use on the STM task before training indicated that more strategic participants displayed better WM task performance and better verbal skills. These results support our hypothesis that strategy use influences performance on WM tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberBF03195736
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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