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Published On: 25/06/2024|Categories: 2023-2027, Vol.45 (2), Vol.45 (2024)|
Cite as: Gonzalez, F.M., Marrujo, J., Magalí, M., Barreyro, J.P., Burin, D. 2024. Measuring Verbal Working Memory Online in Research: Feasibility, Reliability, and Validity of two Implementations. Psicologica, 45(2): e16342

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Working memory (WM) tasks have been extensively studied with laboratory paper and pencil or computerized tasks; few studies have assessed the feasibility and psychometric properties of WM online tests for low-stakes research purposes.We analyzed two different remote online testing implementations of two verbal WM tasks, Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS) and Running Span (RS).LNS was tested in a supervised, online video conference setting in small groups (n = 115), and RS in an unsupervised, asynchronous, remote assessment (n = 289). Both had adequate reliability. However, in LNS, following criteria for minimum performance and “gaming the test” behavior, around 25% participants had to be discarded; scores for set size 2 did not follow the set size effect; and performance was significantly better for the more difficult set sizes as compared to an in-person similar assessment. Conversely, the remote online RS task showed an expected set size effect, and performance was generally equivalent to a similar in-person assessment. Our results put into question the synchronous video conference implementation of the Letter Number Sequence and favor the asynchronous Running Span task.

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