Working Memory Training May Increase Working Memory Capacity but Not Fluid Intelligence

Tyler L. Harrison, Zach Shipstead, Kenny L. Hicks, David Z. Hambrick, Thomas S. Redick, Randall W. Engle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


Working memory is a critical element of complex cognition, particularly under conditions of distraction and interference. Measures of working memory capacity correlate positively with many measures of real-world cognition, including fluid intelligence. There have been numerous attempts to use training procedures to increase working memory capacity and thereby performance on the real-world tasks that rely on working memory capacity. In the study reported here, we demonstrated that training on complex working memory span tasks leads to improvement on similar tasks with different materials but that such training does not generalize to measures of fluid intelligence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2409-2419
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • attention
  • cognitive ability
  • intelligence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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