Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In Which Direction?

According to a psychological study, students (in a sample of 93) were classified as high working-memory or low working-memory. They were then given a math test and the HWM students did better. After that they were given a test in what was termed a “higher, real world pressure situation” and the HWM scores dropped to the LWM levels. The conclusion:

Since working memory is known to predict many higher-level brain functions, the research calls into question the ability of high-pressure tests such as the SAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT to accurately gauge who will succeed in future academic endeavors.
In which direction? Are they claiming that those tests measure things other than working memory and are thus unfair or are they claiming that they only test working memory and are thus unrealistic? Or is this an attempt by reporters to justify flunking algebra?