Working memory and reasoning: An individual differences perspective

Alison Capon, Simon Handley*, Ian Dennis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports three experiments that investigated the relationship between working memory capacity and syllogistic and five-term series spatial inference. A series of complex and simple verbal and spatial working memory measures were employed. Correlational analyses showed that verbal and spatial working memory span tasks consistently predicted syllogistic and spatial reasoning performance. A confirmatory factor analysis showed that three factors best accounted for the data - a verbal, a spatial, and a general factor. Syllogistic reasoning performance loaded all three factors, whilst spatial reasoning loaded only the general factor. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of reasoning theories and contemporary accounts of the structure of working memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-244
Number of pages42
JournalThinking and Reasoning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


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