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IQ And Short-term Memory

September 2007 Research from the University of Oregon published in Psychological Science suggests that short-term memory capacity is a strong predictor of IQ.

Professors of psychology Edward Awh and Edward Vogel and recent graduate Brian Barton have found that people with high IQs may be able to remember more than the average four items. Cognitive psychologists have suggested that the complexity of items being stored in short-term memory may determine this apparent limit.

The current study based on laboratory experiments found that participants aged 18 to 30 were able to hold four items in active memory even when very complex objects were involved. However, clarity was not perfect and varied between participants. The people who could remember a lot of objects at one time did not necessarily have clearer memories of them.

Edward Awh commented:

"Knowing the number of things a person can remember tells you nothing about how clear a person's memory may be. So even though people with high IQs can think about more things at once, there are not guarantees about how good those memories might be."

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