Theory of Working Memory

  • Childhood - I have used confirmatory factor analyses in large samples of 4-11 year-olds to test the structure of working memory (Alloway et al., 2004; 2006).
  • Cross-nationally - Together with collaborators from North and South America and Europe, we are investigating the developmental trajectory of working memory (Alloway et al., submitted).
  • Lifespan - I have also explored the theoretical structure of working memory from childhood to adulthood (Alloway & Alloway, 2013).
  • Genetics - The photo is of twins who were part of my study investigating the contribution of genetics to working memory.

Diagnosis and Assessment

I have developed two standardized test batteries for screening individuals for working memory problems (published by Pearson).


Working Memory in Education


Working Memory and Learning Disorders

Josh is a young boy with autism that I had the pleasure of working with. My research with clinical populations, such as those with language impairments, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Coordination Difficulties, suggests that a working memory deficit leads to learning difficulties beyond the struggles associated with their disorder.


Working Memory and Health

I collaborate on a number of projects investigating the relationship between Working Memory in anxiety, depression, and gestational diabetes. For example, in a study with the British Science Festival, people with high working memory are more optimistic and hopeful about the future compared to those with low working memory.


Working Memory and Social Media

  • Facebook and Grades: In a study with high schoolers, we found that those who used Facebook for longer had better working memory and language scores (Alloway, Horton, Alloway, & Dawson, 2013).
  • Facebook and Attention: In a study with adults, active social media users were more accurate in identifying target stimuli, but were less likely to ignore distractor stimuli, possibly because they they assigned similar weight to incoming streams of information (Alloway & Alloway, 2012).