Working Memory and Verbal Learning in individuals with and without learning difficulties
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A learning disorder (LD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) greatly impacts the lives of the individuals with them. This study focuses on examining the differences between working memory and verbal learning abilities in college age participants with and without LD or ADHD. It was predicted that the LD/ADHD group would perform more poorly than the control group on working memory measures and verbal learning measures. It is also predicted that there will be a correlation between working memory and verbal learning. Participants were recruited from the Psychology Department at Texas State University. A total of 10 participants were in the LD/ADHD group and a total of 43 participants were in the control group without LD or ADHD. One participant was excluded from the LD/ADHD group because of incomplete data and two participants were excluded from the control group due to testing errors. The working memory index from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 4th Edition (WAIS-IV) were used to assess working memory. Verbal learning was assessed using the California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition (CVLT-II). Results showed that there was a significant difference between groups on the recognition task of the CVLT-II and there was a significant correlation between the total recalled scale of the CVLT-II and the arithmetic subtest of the WAIS-IV. Results indicate that the control group is more efficient at coding new information and that a relationship exists between working memory and verbal learning.