Investigating the effectiveness of working memory training in the context of Personality Systems Interaction theory

Abstract

Previous research has shown mixed results for the ability of working memory training to improve fluid intelligence. The aims of this study were first to replicate these improvements, and then to explore the moderating role of Personality Systems Interaction (PSI) personality factors. By using three different training methods and an active-contact control group, we examined the effects of 25 days of cognitive training on 142 participants. After examining our results in context of PSI theory, we found that different training methods yielded different IQ gains in participants, depending on their personality styles. In addition, these correlations suggested a meaningful pattern, indicating that PSI theory may be able to account for the different outcomes of cognitive training studies. Our findings may facilitate tailor-made cognitive training interventions in the future, and can contribute to explaining the mechanisms underlying the far transfer of working memory training to fluid intelligence.

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Acknowledgments

Our study took place with the financial support of the Czech Science Foundation, project no. GAČR13-36836S, awarded to Tomáš Urbánek. This funding source had no involvement in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

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Correspondence to Vladimír Marček.

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This research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR) project no. 13-36836S.

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Urbánek, T., Marček, V. Investigating the effectiveness of working memory training in the context of Personality Systems Interaction theory. Psychological Research 80, 877–888 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-015-0687-4

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Keywords

  • Personality Trait
  • Cognitive Training
  • Fluid Intelligence
  • Personality Style
  • Mental Rotation Task