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Experiment Author: Psychology Software Tools, Inc.
The Operation Span Task (Turner and Engle, 1989) is a test of working memory in participants.
During this experiment, participants are asked to memorize a series of letters presented while mentally computing math problems. A series of 3 practices Procedures occurs before the real trials begins.
The first practice tests a participant’s ability to recall a series of letters. Two or Three randomly selected letters are shown to the participant. Responses are made by the participants using SlideButtons.
The second practice tests a participant’s ability to mentally compute math problems. A random multiplication and either math or subtraction (e.g., (3*2) + 1) is shown to a participant. Once the participant computes the answer, a True or False option is presented on the screen with either the correct or incorrect answer. The participant must decide whether the answer presented is True or False.
The last practice is a combination of the two previous practices. A series of math problems are presented alongside a series of letters. After a certain length of letters are presented, the participant is asked to recall the series of letters. Feedback is presented.
The real trials work similarly to the last practice trials except feedback is not provided to participants. Dependent measures are calculated for the math portion as well as the letter recall portion of the experiment.
Turner, M. L., & Engle, R. W. (1989). Is Working Memory Capacity Task Dependent? Journal of Memory and Language, 28, 127-154.