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Beyond resources - formal models for complexity effects and age differences in working memory. Primary data of the memory updating experiment.

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Researchers

Name
Oberauer, Klaus
Kliegl, Reinhold

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Dataset Information

Title Beyond resources - formal models for complexity effects and age differences in working memory. Primary data of the memory updating experiment.
Original Title Formale Modelle von Komplexittseffekten und Altersunterschieden im Arbeitsgedchtnis. Primrdaten zum Memory Updating-Experiment.
Citation Oberauer, K., & Kliegl, R. (2004). Beyond resources - formal models for complexity effects and age differences in working memory. Primary data of the memory updating experiment. [Translated Title] (Version 1) [Files on CD-ROM]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information ZPID. https://doi.org/10.5160/psychdata.orks96fo20
Language of variable documentation German
Responsible for Data Collection Oberauer, Klaus
Data Collection Completion Date 1996
Dataset Publication 2004
Dataset ID orks96fo20
Study Description Working memory is usually described as a system for the simultaneous remembering and processing of information. The "Memory Updating" task allows the demands of the two components - remembering and processing - to be incrementally varied independently from each other. We used a numerical version of this task to measure the capacity of working memory in young and old adults. To this end, we investigated working memory by manipulating the presentation time for individual calculations for each person using an individual time-accuracy functions task with increasing load on working memory (simultaneously remembering 1 to 6 digits). The results show that both the asymptotic-achieved accuracy, as well as the rate at which accuracy reaches the asymptote, increases with the memory load and with age. While several alternative mathematical models were used on the data, only two of them (one based on interference, one for time-dependent trace decay) yielded a satisfactory fit to the data. This data can be used as a benchmark dataset for formal models of working memory capacity.
Hypotheses With increasing loads on working memory and old age the asymptotic accuracy in the time-accuracy functions and the rate of approach to the asymptote decrease.
Keyphrase capacity limits of working memory in young and old adults, 18 young & 18 old adults, primary data
Funding German Research Foundation
Rating For each person and each memory load condition 12 performance times were measured. These were selected by an adaptive method so that they measured the area between a subject's random accuracy and asymptotic accuracy in a single condition. For each presentation time at least 10 data points were collected. The adaptation of descriptive time-accuracy functions (negatively-accelerated exponential functions with 3 free parameters for each person and condition) resulted in generally good fit (R was between .60-.75).

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PSYNDEX Classification and Controlled Terms

Classification Learning & Memory
Cognitive & Perceptual Development
Controlled Terms Cognitive Psychology
Task Complexity
Human Channel Capacity
Short Term Memory
Cognitive Ability
Age Differences
Data Collection

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Research Method Description

Research Method Description Test Data
Classification of Data Collection Experimental Design, Quasi-experimental Design, Mixed Design, Laboratory Experiment
Research Instrument A computer monitor displayed single digits that were presented on a circularly arranged frame and which varied depending on memory load, (Experiment 1: n = 1-4, Experiment 2: n = 4-6). After the first few digits disappeared, arithmetic operations were presented in the same context (for n = 1, the performance of arithmetic operations was also presented in 2 frames). The arithmetic operations were applied to the number of the corresponding frame. After 8 arithmetic operations, the frames were tagged in random order by question marks. The subjects then had to enter the corresponding result on the keyboard.
Subjects were informed that all the results and all intermediate values would be between 1-9. After 3,000 msec for the young and 5,000 msec was for the old subjects the words "too slow" instead of "right" or "wrong" were shown to avoid drawn out calculations. Subjects were also told that only trials with correct responses in all the frames would count in order to discourage focusing on one frame too long. Complexity (number of digits to be remembered) was varied and balanced across blocks of 13 attempts. For each condition, 234 runs were performed. The presentation times for the arithmetic operations were adaptively varied from passage to passage so that they measured the area between random asymptotic accuracy of per condition. After 10 blocks, this adaptive algorithm was replaced by a "filler" algorithm in order to obtain at least 10 data points for each category. The individual tasks were generated randomly.
Data Collection Method Data collection in the presence of an experimenter
- Individual Administration
- Computer-Supported
Time Points repeated measurements
Survey Time Period 1996, Experiment 2 was conducted approx. 6 months after experiment 1
Characteristics 3 subjects from Experiment 1 could not be re-recruited for Experiment 2.
Population Young vs old adults
Experimental Pool Individuals
Sample Convenience sample
Subject Recruitment The young subjects, all secondary school students, were recruited from the Potsdam participant pool. The old subjects were recruited through newspaper advertisements or were friends or relatives of other participants. Participants received 15 DM for a 1-hour session.
Sample Size 36 individuals
Return/Drop Out 3 subjects from Experiment 1 could not be re-recruited for Experiment 2.
Gender Distribution 52,8% female subjects (n=19)
47,2% male subjects (n=17)
Age Distribution 18-21; 65-80 years
Special Groups -
Country Germany
Region Brandenburg
City Potsdam
Variables Independent Variable 1: working memory load: number of simultaneously-to-remember digits (1-6)
Independent Variable 2: presentation time for individual arithmetic operations
Independent Variable 3: Age
Dependent Variable: Accuracy of memory (percentage of correct answers)
Additionally, reaction times while submitting remembered digits were measured

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Data Status

Data Status Complete Data Set
Original Records Individually recorded computer-based survey (person-related data files)
Transformation The original records were listed below each other per experiment and subject. Using these 2 data files, a data matrix was developed which underlie the modeling of the publication. The deletion of unimportant variables, the aggregation of each subject's data, the results, and performance time were made by hand. Both the primary data (orks96fo20_pd1.txt and orks96fo20_pd2) as well as the aggregate data (orks96fo20_ad.txt) are reported.

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Description of the Provided Data

Description Primary data set Experiment 1
File Name orks96fo20_pd1.txt
Data Content 36 subjects, 1,170 runs (in two cases in 1,157), 23 variables
Data Points (34*1170+2*1157)*23=968,162 data points
Variables Subjects ID (1), Test conditions (6), Arithmetic solution, subject's reaction, solution accuracy, reaction time (4x 4 = 16)
MD5 Hash a917a5e9629bed7597021f9db4e530dd
  
Description Primary data set Experiment 2
File Name orks96fo20_pd2.txt
Data Content 33 subjects 819 runs, 31 variables
Data Points 33*819*31=837,837 data points
Variables Subjects ID (1), Test conditions (6), Arithmetic solution, subject's reaction, solution accuracy, reaction time (6x 4 = 24)
MD5 Hash a070208821ff6db66766067a7039699d
  
Description File with derived variables
File Name orks96fo20_ad.txt
Data Content 36 subjects, 61-102 runs, 9 variables
Data Points (36*61 bis 36*102)= 3,367*9=30,303 data points
Variables Subjects ID (1), Test conditions (5), Age group (1), Proportion of correct responses and number of items (2)
MD5 Hash ae198eb2ea32358b68c0e749ee4a1c12
  

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Description of Additional Materials

Description File Name
German codebook of primary data file orks96fo20_pd1.txt orks96fo20_kb1.txt
German codebook of primary data file orks96fo20_pd2.txt orks96fo20_kb2.txt
Data file encoding guidelines orks96fo20_ad.txt orks96fo20_aa.txt
Guidelines for the generation and presentation of tasks orks96fo20_sp.txt
Tasks of Experiment 1 orks96fo20_vm1.txt
Tasks of Experiment 2 orks96fo20_vm2.txt

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Publications Directly Related to the Dataset

Publications Directly Related to the Dataset
Oberauer, K. & Kliegl, R. (2001). Beyond resources - formal models for complexity effects and age differences in working memory. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 13, 187-215.Datensatz 0145472

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