Scientific advance and theory integration in working memory: Commentary on Oberauer et al. (2018) Benchmarks for models of short term and working memory

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Oberauer et al. (2018) report the results of an ambitious project to identify key or “benchmark” empirical findings that have been associated with the concept of working memory. This commentary questions the utility of setting different levels of priority for previous findings for the purposes of advancing theoretical understanding. This gives undue weight to well-established findings that are studied by large numbers of researchers, at the expense of new, or less well researched findings that could be just as, if not more important for theory development. The risk from prioritizing is that ever larger numbers of researchers will focus on well known findings, and how these findings might be explained by favored theoretical approaches. It may act to inhibit innovation, new discoveries and the development of more integrated rather than ever more fractionated theories. An unprioritized, and regularly updated repository of working memory findings with cross referencing of consistency and inconsistency across paradigms, phenomena, and theoretical frameworks would be much more valuable for facilitating new theoretical and empirical advances
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-962
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume144
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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