Field dependence-independence from a working memory perspective: a dual-task investigation of the Hidden Figures test. Journal Article uri icon



  • Field dependence-independence (FDI) is a construct intensively investigated within cognitive style research, but its cognitive underpinnings are not clearly specified. We propose that performance on FDI tasks primarily reflects the operations of the visuospatial and executive components of working memory. We tested this hypothesis in a dual-task experiment with a commonly used measure of FDI, the Hidden Figures Test. The results showed that performance on this test was impaired by concurrent performance of secondary tasks that primarily tap the visuospatial component (spatial tapping) and the executive component (2-back and random number generation), but was almost unaffected by other secondary tasks (simple tapping and articulatory suppression). Moreover, an analysis of secondary task performance ruled out the possibility of strategic trade-offs and revealed an intriguing dissociation for two different sets of "randomness" indices for the random number generation task. These results support the hypothesised mapping between FDI and working memory components and suggest that the dual-task paradigm can provide a useful way to bring underspecified constructs like FDI into closer alignment with theoretical ideas developed within cognitive psychology.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • September 3, 2013 2:21 AM

Full Author List

  • Miyake A; Witzki AH; Emerson MJ

author count

  • 3

published in

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0965-8211

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 445

end page

  • 457


  • 9


  • 4-6