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132000Volume 13, Issue9November 2000

Presidential Column

Robert Bjork
Robert A. Bjork
University of California, Los Angeles
APS President 2000 - 2001
All columns

In this Issue:
Different Views of Individual Differences

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Up Front

  • Different Views of Individual Differences

    Only gradually over time has it has dawned on me that most cognitive psychologists, including myself, view individual differences in how people learn and remember in a markedly different way than do many laypersons and even, perhaps, other types of psychologists. At the risk of oversimplification, I think cognitive psychologists typically view individual differences as akin to differences in parameter values. We assume individuals differ in such things as working-memory capacity, prior relevant knowledge, speed of rehearsal or retrieval, visual/spatial versus verbal/propositional skills and preferences, and so forth - but we don't think individuals differ in the basic functional architecture of learning and memory.