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First Advisor

Mario Fific


Townsend and Fific (2004) published an influential short-term memory (STM) study in which they observed individual differences in serial and parallel STM scanning. The authors employed systems factorial technology —a novel methodology that provides strong diagnostic tests of cognitive structuring—and presented a new method of manipulating probe-to-memory item processing speed for memory loads (N=2). Three variables were manipulated in this experiment: number of processing elements (N=2), phonemic dissimilarity of a target to the particular memorized item (high, low), and duration between the memorized set and a target (short, long). In the original study, 10 subjects each participated in 20 sessions. The present study serves as a conceptual replication in which two-hundred subjects each participated in 1 session and a novel memory load condition was included. Results contributed converging evidence in testing serial/ parallel processing in short-term memory scanning.

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