De invloed van contextuele factoren op het werkgeheugen: een experimenteel onderzoek op basis van de Dynamische Systeem Theorie
Dalen, S. van
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The Dynamic System Theory (DST) suggests that both internal and external factors may influence working memory performance. When working memory performance can indeed be influenced, this could have important implications for preventive interventions to support the development of children with weak working memory capacities. The research question concerns: ‘Can working memory performance be influenced by contextual factors?’. The performance of 44 toddlers (mean age 28,50 months) on the ‘six boxes task’ and two delay of gratifications tasks were measured on two moments. An experimental research design, using a standard condition and a manipulated condition (attention shifting or distance) would show if working memory performance are influenced by external factors (manipulation of the task and SES) and internal factors (gender). A learning effect between the performance on both moments was also investigated. The external factors manipulation of the task and SES did not seem to have a significant influence on working memory performance. The internal factor, gender, also did not have a significant influence on performance. A learning effect was not found on both tasks. Both external factors SES and manipulation of the task and the internal factor gender, did not seem to have a significant influence on working memory performances. However, a tendency was found. Toddlers had a relatively better score on the manipulated ‘six boxes task’. This result can be interpreted from the DST, because this theory suggests that the environment or test setting can have an influence performance. In this case a positive influence on toddlers’ working memory performance was found. Statistical power was lost due to a small sample which increases the chance of a type II error. Future research with a larger sample size is desirable.