Working memory capacity and Stroop interference: Global versus local indices of executive control

Matt E. Meier, Michael J. Kane
2013 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
more » ... 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.
doi:10.1037/a0029200 pmid:22774858 fatcat:vpckfaayhjdpthhyqm4zjwxesa