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Could working memory predict performance in different study tasks?. Hanák Róbert University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of Business Management (SLOVAKIA). Introduction.
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Could working memory predict performance in different study tasks? HanákRóbert University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of Business Management (SLOVAKIA)
Introduction • In this article we investigated predictive ability of working memory on different study task all measured by study results and were related to information technologies. 75 students (22 men) of management study from Slovakia participate in research. • Surprisingly learning two similar types of new software correlated significantly with working memory which could be used also as predictor.As expected, working memory had no relationship with the case study about analysing IT status of a specific company. Contrary to our expectations, working memory did not correlate with the final exam, which was based purely on memorizing. Those with better working memory (one SD above mean) also did not differ significantly from mean group or low group in study results except the ERP task.
Introduction • Information technologies are important part of modern economy  and their importance has been growing . Therefore, it is crucial to prepare young generation to use IT technologies properly. However, we first need to know which psychological factors are connected with acquiring IT knowledge • Good memory and ability to memorize well is usually associated with those study tasks where student is required to possess encyclopaedic knowledge. However, practical knowledge is at least of the same importance • According to our knowledge, working memory and its relationship with learning, analysing or comparing new software has not yet been investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate relationship between working memory and study results in the course of Managerial Informatics.
PARTICIPANTS • 75 students (22 men) of University of Economics in Slovakia were tested in their fifth semester of bachelor study in the course Managerial Informatics. They all were 21 years old. They participated for extra credit, without financial incentive. Data were collected in ten sessions in 2012 from respondents from Slovakia. No exclusion criteria or any restriction for participants were implemented.
MEASURES • Study results : For measuring study results we used scores from five different tasks.Two tasks measured how well students understood and learned to use the accounting software Alpha (5 points) and Omega (7 points) from Kros Corporation. Third task measured an ability to search in internet, compare data and answer 30 questions about ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software (8 points). Fourth task was a case study of real specific company (10 points).Last task measured the ability to memorize data for final exam in Managerial Informatics (70 points). • Working memory :In this paper we define working memory as ability to properly remember as many business characteristics as possible (e.g. profitability, price, potential market, etc.). These characteristics were taken from Canadian Invention Assistance Program and were analyzed by Åstebro and Elhedhli .
Results • In average, 53.24% remembered characteristics were correct, which is almost the same amount as improperly remembered. Gender comparison showed that although men remembered little more characteristic (M= 6.73; SD = 2.19) than women (M= 6.60; SD = 3.33), difference was not significant. • According to number of properly remembered characteristics students were assigned to three groups: good memory (1 standard deviation above mean), poor memory (1 standard deviation below mean) and average group, which were in range between standard deviations. There were no significant differences between these groups in task solving, except ERP task, where group with good memory had the best score and differed significantly from other two groups: F(2) = 3.686; p = .03.
Table 1. Correlations between amount of properly remembered characteristics and study results for all participants
Conclusion • Our results contradicted our expectations. Remembering business characteristics to be able to assess business plan correctly was expected to be in the strongest relationship with the task, where it seemed that mostly memory was necessary to get the top performance – memorising for the final exam. This assumption was not supported by the results. Although learning to use new software and searching for information about ERP software was not expected to be related with working memory, our results proved other way. It seems that practical working memory performance has stronger effect on other learning tasks than originally expected.
REFERENCES • Kokles, M.; Romanová, A. (2004) : Využívanie informačných systémov v slovenských podnikoch. Ekonomický časopis : časopis pre ekonomickú teóriu a hospodársku politiku = Journal of economics. - Bratislava : Slovak Academic Press, 52, č. 8, pp. 1009-1026 • Štangová, N., Víghová, A. (2013) Information System-Basis for Successful Management of the Organization. International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics. pp. 8-12. • T. Åstebro and S. Elhedhli, “The Effectiveness of Simple Decision Heuristics : A Case Study of Experts ’ Forecasts of the Commercial Success of Early-Stage Ventures,” Manage. Sci., vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 395–409, 2006. • BallováMikušková, E., (2013). “Intuícia:dobrýsluha, zlýpán?” In. Hanák, R., BallováMikušková, E., Čavojová, V. (Eds.) Rozhodovanie a usudzovanie IV. Bratislava: Ústavexperimentálnejpsychológie SAV, 34-47 • Čavojová, V. (2013a) “O racionaliteintuície”. In. Hanák, R., BallováMikušková, E., Čavojová, V. (Eds.) Rozhodovanie a usudzovanie IV. Bratislava: Ústavexperimentálnejpsychológie SAV, 11-33