A dual-task paradigm was used to explore the effects of cognitive load on social problem solving and autobiographical memory retrieval. The role that gender may play in mediating the relationship was also examined. Participants performed a secondary task concurrently with two primary tasks : (a) a cueing task, and (b) the Means-End Problem-Solving (MEPS) Task, during which they were required to attend to the memories retrieved during solution generation. Two dual-task conditions were employed in order that two levels of secondary task difficulty could be explored. Level of difficulty proved to be an important factor in the effects of resource reduction on the two primary tasks. Retrieval during the MEPS was effected by both the easy and difficult secondary task whereas retrieval on the cueing task was affected by the difficult task only. The results also showed that females (in contrast to males) favoured a more detailed SPS style using a specific memory database. Consequently, under central executive pressure, females' performance was significantly affected while males' performance remained largely unchanged.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||British Journal of Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1998|