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The Role of Working Memory Capacity in Auditory Distraction
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet , 2010. , 54 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis/Luleå university of Technology, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-6788ISBN: 978-91-7439-098-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-6788DiVA: diva2:319732
Public defence
2010-06-04, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-05-27 Created: 2010-05-19 Last updated: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Individual differences in susceptibility to the effects of speech on reading comprehension
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Individual differences in susceptibility to the effects of speech on reading comprehension
2010 (English)In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 24, no 1, 67-76 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Individuals with high working memory capacity (WMC) are less distracted by task-irrelevant speech than others. The mechanism behind this relationship, however, is not well understood, and it has only been found in a few paradigms. We used a Number updating task to measure WMC and two suppression mechanisms (immediate and delayed), and tested how they were associated with individual differences in susceptibility to the effects of speech on reading comprehension. The results revealed a negative relationship between WMC and susceptibility to speech distraction. Of the two suppression mechanisms, only immediate suppression was associated with speech distraction, suggesting that susceptibility to distraction is determined by the ability to immediately suppress the irrelevant speech. Furthermore, the relationship between WMC and speech distraction was mediated by the immediate suppression mechanism. The implications of these results and possible explanations of similar results found in other paradigms are discussed.

Keyword
working memory capacity, WMC, speech, reading comprehension
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2257 (URN)10.1002/acp.1543 (DOI)000273368300005 ()2-s2.0-77950135979 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2008-11-09 Created: 2008-11-09 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved
2. A sub-process view of working memory capacity: Evidence from effects of speech on prose memory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A sub-process view of working memory capacity: Evidence from effects of speech on prose memory
2010 (English)In: Memory, ISSN 0965-8211, E-ISSN 1464-0686, Vol. 18, no 3, 310-326 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we outline a "sub-process view" of working memory capacity (WMC). This view suggests that any relationship between WMC and another construct (e.g., reading comprehension) is actually a relationship with a specific part of the WMC construct. The parts, called sub-processes, are functionally distinct and can be measured by intrusion errors in WMC tasks. Since the sub-processes are functionally distinct, some sub-process may be related to a certain phenomenon, whereas another sub-process is related to other phenomena. In two experiments we show that a sub-process (measured by immediate/current-list intrusions) is related to the effects of speech on prose memory (semantic auditory distraction), whereas another sub-process (measured by delayed/prior-list intrusions), known for its contribution to reading comprehension, is not. In Experiment 2 we developed a new WMC task called "size-comparison span" and found that the relationship between WMC and semantic auditory distraction is actually a relationship with a sub-process measured by current-list intrusions in our new task.

Keyword
Semantic auditory distraction, Size-comparison span, Sub-process view, Working memory capacity
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-6210 (URN)10.1080/09658211003601530 (DOI)000277650200008 ()20182946 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-77951688758 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-01-05 Created: 2010-01-05 Last updated: 2016-07-04Bibliographically approved
3. Effects of aircraft noise and speech on prose memory: What role for working memory capacity?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of aircraft noise and speech on prose memory: What role for working memory capacity?
2010 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 30, no 1, 112-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research indicates that aircraft noise and meaningful background speech are particularly detrimental to school adolescents’ ability to remember what they read, but until now the effects from aircraft noise and speech have never been compared directly in an experiment. Furthermore, individual differences in susceptibility to these effects are not well understood. The present investigation addressed these two issues. Adolescents attending upper secondary school were recruited as participants and the data collection was made in their ordinary classrooms. The results from two experiments revealed that speech is more detrimental to prose memory than is aircraft noise, and individual differences in working memory capacity contributes more to individual differences in susceptibility to the effects of aircraft noise on prose memory than to the effects of speech. Some applied implications of those findings to noise abatement interventions are suggested.

Keyword
aircraft noise, individual differences, irrelevant speech, prose memory, working memory capacity
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-5804 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.11.004 (DOI)000275686300011 ()19805928 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-76549134097 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-11-05 Created: 2009-11-05 Last updated: 2016-07-01Bibliographically approved
4. High working memory capacity attenuates the deviation effect but not the changing-state effect: Further support for the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High working memory capacity attenuates the deviation effect but not the changing-state effect: Further support for the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction
2010 (English)In: Memory & Cognition, ISSN 0090-502X, E-ISSN 1532-5946, Vol. 38, no 5, 651-658 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Serial short-term memory is impaired by background sound, at least when a sound element suddenly deviates from an otherwise repetitive sequence (the deviation effect) and when each sound element in the sequence differs from the preceding one (the changing-state effect). Two competing theories have been proposed to explain these effects: One suggests that both effects are caused by the same mechanism (i.e., attentional resources being depleted by the sound), and the other suggests that the deviation effect is caused by attentional capture and that the changingstate effect is caused by interference between order processes. The present investigation found that working memory capacity predicts susceptibility to the deviation effect, but not to the changing-state effect, both when speech items (Experiment 1) and when tones (Experiment 2) produce the disruption. These results suggest that the two effects are caused by different mechanisms and support the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction.

Keyword
short-term memory, working memory, auditory distraction
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-6231 (URN)10.3758/MC.38.5.651 (DOI)000281812000011 ()20551344 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-77956170370 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-01-10 Created: 2010-01-10 Last updated: 2016-07-05Bibliographically approved

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