Understanding How Working Memory Capacity and Domain-Specific Knowledge Influence Memory Performance
Michael E. Hahn & Ronald T. Kellogg
The relationship of working memory and domain knowledge to memory performance was investigated in this study. Young adults (N = 290) completed a demographic questionnaire and the Baseball Knowledge Test via an online platform. A subsample (N = 70) was selected to undergo further testing in a laboratory setting. Participants viewed two half-innings from recorded Major League Baseball games and provided verbal recollections. During one recollection, participants performed a concurrent task designed to reduce working memory resources. Testing sessions concluded with the administration of two complex working memory span tasks. Analyses indicated that domain knowledge and working memory predicted memory performance under normal and cognitive load conditions, and that these variables had an additive effect. In addition, our manipulation of working memory load impaired performance regardless of level of domain knowledge. Together, our findings suggest that domain knowledge and working memory independently influence memory performance.