Working memory capacity and Stroop interference: Global versus local indices of executive control
Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory and Cognition
Two experiments examined the relations among working memory capacity (WMC), congruencysequence effects, proportion-congruency effects, and the color-word Stroop effect to test whether congruency-sequence effects might inform theoretical claims regarding WMC's prediction of Stroop interference. In Experiment 1, subjects completed either a high-congruency or low-congruency Stroop task that restricted trial-to-trial repetitions of stimulus dimensions to examine WMC's relation to
... effects while minimizing bottom-up, stimulus-driven contributions. Congruencysequence effects and congruency-proportion effects were significant but did not interact. WMC predicted global Stroop interference under low-congruency conditions but neither local congruency-sequence effects nor global Stroop interference under high-congruency conditions, contrary to previous studies (e.g., . A high-congruency Stroop task in Experiment 2 removed the Experiment 1 task constraints, and, here, we obtained the typical, global association between WMC and Stroop interference but still no relation between WMC and congruency-sequence effects. We thus examined the methodological differences between Experiments 1 and 2 to determine whether any of these were locally responsible for the global WMC-related differences. They were not, suggesting that the changes between Experiments 1 and 2 created a general task context that engaged (or disengaged) the executive processes associated with WMC.