Publication Date

Spring 2020

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jenni Redifer, Carl Myers, and Sarah Ochs

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


Working Memory (WM) is a critical contributor to learning. Those with low WM (LWM) are frequently at a disadvantage compared to those with high WM (HWM). Effective study strategies like practice retrieval, and self-explanation have been found to increase retrieval performance. This study compared the use of effective strategies between those with HWM and LWM, to determine whether the effect of study strategies on verbatim, inference, and total retrieval test scores differed due to WM when effective strategies were provided. Results indicated no significant difference in strategy quality between those with HWM and LWM. When looking at retrieval performance, WM impacted verbatim and total test scores, but not inference scores. However, when study strategies were accounted for, the impact of WM on retrieval performance was no longer significant. These results indicate that there is not one specific strategy that eliminates WM’s effect on performance, but rather, it is the quality of strategy use that impacts later retrieval performance.


Education | Psychology | School Psychology