The irrelevant sound phenomenon revisited: what role for working memory capacity?
Beaman, C. P. (2004) The irrelevant sound phenomenon revisited: what role for working memory capacity? Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 30 (5). pp. 1106-1118. ISSN 0278-7393
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1037/0278-7318.104.22.1686
High-span individuals (as measured by the operation span [CSPAN] technique) are less likely than low-span individuals to notice their own names in an unattended auditory stream (A. R. A. Conway, N. Cowan, & M F. Bunting, 2001). The possibility that OSPAN accounts for individual differences in auditory distraction on an immediate recall test was examined. There was no evidence that high-OSPAN participants were more resistant to the disruption caused by irrelevant speech in serial or in free recall. Low-OSPAN participants did, however, make more semantically related intrusion errors from the irrelevant sound stream in a free recall test (Experiment 4). Results suggest that OSPAN mediates semantic components of auditory distraction dissociable from other aspects of the irrelevant sound effect.