In the present study, we examined the extent to which encoding specificity influences the relation between individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) and episodic recall. Participants performed a paired associates cued recall task in which a rhyme or a semantic judgment was made during encoding. During recall participants were presented with the cue word along with either a rhyme or semantic cue. Across both rhyme and semantic conditions, encoding and retrieval conditions either matched or mismatched. When encoding and retrieval conditions matched, high WMC individuals outperformed low WMC individuals. When encoding and retrieval conditions mismatched, high and low WMC individuals performed equivalently. Importantly, this occurred because high WMC individuals were hurt more than low WMC individuals when conditions mismatched. These results demonstrate the importance of encoding specificity in the relation between WMC and episodic recall as well as of unifying prior work that has demonstrated that high WMC individuals are hurt more in some recall conditions than are low WMC individuals.
- Individual differences in memory capacity
- Working memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)