Roles of working memory capacity and long-term working memory skill in complex task performance

Young Woo Sohn, Stephanie M. Doane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


In the present research, we examined the relative roles of domain-general and domain-specific individual difference characteristics in complex cognitive task performance. Specifically, we examined the impact both of working memory (WM) capacity and of acquired skills used to encode presented information in an accessible form in long-term working memory (LTWM) on performance in a complex aviation task environment. Measures of WM capacity and LTWM skill served as performance predictors. A criterion measure of task performance was related to the predictor measures. The results indicated that an increase in LTWM skill decreases the role of WM capacity as the determinant of complex task performance, although both measures are important performance predictors. We discuss how the two distinct WM constructs coexist and interact to support complex task performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-466
Number of pages9
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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