Working memory and attitudes

Eun Sook Jung, Norman Reid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. Working memory capacity has been shown to be an important factor in controlling understanding in the sciences. Attitudes related to studies in the sciences are also known to be important in relation to success in learning. It might be argued that if working memory capacity is a rate controlling feature of learning and success in understanding leads to more positive attitudes, then working memory capacity might be associated with more positive attitudes. This study explores this with 714 school students (aged 12 and 14) taking science in typical schools in South Korea. Working memory capacity was measured by the figural intersection test while attitudes were explored using a questionnaire. It was found that, in general, working memory space is correlated more significantly with students' attitudes towards studies in science than attitudes towards scientists while students who have low working memory capacity tend to express consistently more negative views about their studies. Of considerable importance is the observation that students who have high working memory capacity tend to try to understand science knowledge while students who have low working memory capacity tend more to try to memorise science knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-223
    Number of pages19
    JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Working memory capacity
    • Attitudes
    • Understanding and memorising


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