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Prediction of Fluid Intelligence in First Graders From Processing Speed, Short-Term Memory, and Working Memory Capacity

I. Ercan Alp, Burcu Öğüt Özdemir
2007; 22(60):1-15

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Sixty eight Grade 1 pupils were administered seven speed tasks of varying levels of complexity to measure processing speed, Forward and Backward Digit Span tests to measure short-term (STM) and working memory capacity (WMC), respectively, and the Nonverbal Battery of CogAT™ to measure ş uid intelligence (Gf). Four speed measures were derived from the scores on the speed tasks: in ascending order of complexity; simple RT, perceptual choice RT, visual search RT, and conceptual choice RT. As predicted, (1) the strength of the relation between speed and Gf decreased with decreasing complexity of the speed measures and (2) when the contributions by all of the independent variables were simultaneously considered, only WMC predicted Gf. Consistent with the predictions, however, the most complex speed measure, the conceptual choice RT, also tended to predict Gf. Furthermore, there was no evidence for speed to indirectly predict Gf via mediation of WMC. These results confi rmed that, as was found earlier with adult participants, also in children relatively pure measures of speed are unrelated to Gf, and any relation between speed and Gf is due to confounding by other factor(s), most notably controlled attention (WMC), in its measurement.

Keywords: Processing speed, short-term memory, working memory, ş uid intelligence, CogAT™, first graderS