(First of all, sorry if this is a silly question; this is not my discipline.)

I am planning on conducting a study, and one of the things I would like to have is a sense of participants' long-term memory (I am thinking of remembering a set of numbers after ~10 minutes). I do not have enough time to conduct a proper long-term memory test, so I was wondering whether a working memory test (such as OSPAN) would be a good proxy for long-term memory.

I have tried to find research on the topic using Google Scholar and reading some of the results, but I have not found a clear answer to this question. It would be great if you could provide some insight or cites of relevant work.

What I imagine are papers in which a given set of participants takes both working memory and long-term memory tests, and the correlation between performance in these is correlated.

Additionally, I am not interested in whether long-term memory about something increases working memory. Just whether people who have good working memory happen to be people that also have good long-term memory.


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    $\begingroup$ Even if they are correlated (which I suspect they are, but fairly weakly), I can't imagine any peer reviewer letting you claim a working memory task is a proxy for long-term memory, because you won't be able to verify that it's a good proxy in your study and because you'd be better off simply stating what you've actually done, which is test working memory. Why is it so important to you that you measure long-term memory? And why is that importance not sufficient motivation to take more time with your assay? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jun 13, 2022 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed with @BryanKrause - memory can be very dicey: Not only might working memory not correlate well with long-term memory, but different types of long-term memory may not correlate well with each other. You are really better off testing the actual thing you want to know. $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Jun 13, 2022 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause and Arnon Thank you for your replies. I am interested in doing an exploratory analysis of the type: is main result X partly explained by individual differences in long-term memory? (i.e. remembering numbers ~10 minutes after seeing them). Is there any type that resembles that and that lasts no more than ~10 minutes? It's for a Master's thesis in Econ (so I am not worrying about peer review right now) and my budget is limited, hence the reason I think I might only be able to measure working memory. Thank you again, you were very helpful. $\endgroup$
    – mrtnsrmo
    Jun 17, 2022 at 5:44


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