2013. Vol.4, No.11, 738-745
Published Online November 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ce) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ce.2013.411104
Capacity of the Working Memory and Its Relationship with the
Ability to Retain Information among Secondary Stage Students in
Abdelraouf Al - Yamani1, Nadia Hayel Al-Srour2, Safa AlAli3
1Al-Isra’a University, Amman, Jordan
2The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
3The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jord an
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received September 19th, 2013; revised Octo be r 19th, 2013; acce pted October 26th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Abdelraouf Al-Yamani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative
Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cit ed.
The purpose of this study is to explore the capacity of the working memory among secondary stage stu-
dents in Amman second educational directorate and its relationship with their ability to retain information.
To explore their level of working memory, listening test period developed by (Daneman & Carpenter,
1980) was used, and the test consisted of 40 items. Moreover, the researcher used retention ability test in
biology with 20 items. The sample of the study was selected from eight schools through random cluster-
ing total 293 male and female students in the school year 2010/2011. The findings of the study showed
that the capacity of the working memory among students was high and their ability to retain was low.
There is a positive significant relationship between the capacity of the working memory and the level of
the ability to retain information. Based on the findings of the study, the researchers recommended the
need of taking careful attention to mnemonics and the strategies that may help working memory in re-
storing and processing, concentrating in teaching methods that help students to employ more than one
sense in addition to the direct experience in teaching to increase the working memory capacity among
students and help them to improve information processing strategies. Moreover, they conduct more stud-
ies on working memory and its relationship with psychological and cognitive variables in other educa-
Keywords: Capacity of Working Memory; Ability to Retain; Secondary Stage Students; Amman Second
Memory played a big role in human’s life and in his social,
cognitive and psychological activity. The memory not only
keeps the cognitive storage for humans, but also through this
storage forms the normal personality and helps the individual to
imagine, judge, visualize, induce and practice all intellectual
Scientists tried to study the human memory as well as memo-
rization, storage and recall; they found that there are three types
of memory: Sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-
term memory (Leahey, 2003). The information are selected by
the sensory memory to reach its final destination to the long
term memory and processed in the short term memory which is
called later (the working memory) that represents the individual
recognition to the process of retaining information for a short
period of time until he makes a decision to process it and send-
ing it to the long term memory (Al-Sahreef, Mustafa, & Mah-
Baddeley (2005) mentioned that there is a need to shift from
short term memory to the working memory as it is not storage
or a route for data but it contains processing information to
send it to the long term memory. Jarrold & Towse (2006) indi-
cated that the process of employing information and integrating
it to achieve a certain cognition goal distinguishing the working
memory from the short term memory .
Dehn (2008) mentioned that the working memory is different
from the short term memory in many aspects, those contri buted
in changing the concept as follows:
- The short term memory is restricted in two domains (verbal
and visual) while the workin g me mory is more general .
- The short term memory keep information whiles the work-
ing memory process and keeps information.
- The short term memory activates the stored information in
the long term memory while, the working memory guides
the recall of the needed information from the long term
- Short term memory is limited to the administrative func-
tions while, the working memory conducts executive func-
The working memory is one of the most important concepts
A. AL-YAMANI ET AL.
in the cognitive psychology science since it provides is with
application for the cognitive function in general and for the
academic teach in particular (Davis, 2011). Jonidei & Nee
(2006) argued that the working memory is an important cogni-
tive ability contributing in the higher cognitive functions as it
enters in some higher skills such as reading comprehension,
logical training and problem solving.
Baddeley (1986) indicated that working memory is a com-
prehensive system works to unify the functions and subsystems
by the long-term memory, and short-term memory. Duff &
Logie (2001) defined the working memory as the ability to
process information and temporary storage for a short time.
Moreover, Lepine, Barrouillet & Camos (2005) considered it a
cognitive central process for the effective processing of infor-
Dehn (2008) argued that the working memory is Brain’s abil-
ity to retain information for a short period of time, and employ
them in different cognitive tasks, he pointed out that the three
working memory and executive functions are as follows:
1) Executive memory: Conduct selective attention, ability to
focus on relevant information with the work at the same time to
control the sources of distracting, while coordinating between
different cognitive activities.
2) Auditory memory: the part associated audio information,
which works on information processing, storing or demise of
memory, and verbal information stored two seconds or less.
3) Visual memory: the responsible uncle processing informa-
tion presented visually.
The capacity of the working memory among individuals can
be measures through some knowledge or sentences or verbal
tasks or even visual ones in order to start simple memorization
based on recalling and restoring as well as complex memoriza-
tion based on retention, processing and recalling (Gathercole &
One of the first models that have been developed to measure
the capacity of the working memory Baddeley model in 1974,
which he redeveloped in 2000, has the executive process, which
controls the operations of attention, information processing, in
addition to the three systems within the memory: the phono-
logical repetition, storing visual and spatial information and the
main memory (Baddeley, 2000).
Afterwards, many models were developed to measure the
capacity of the working memory among individuals, one of
them is Daneman & Carpenter (1980) model containing a set of
sentences read by the individual, and then he must remember
them in the same order in which they presented to him. In addi-
tion, there is Turner & Engle (1989) scale which is based on
mathematical tasks more than sentences.
When testing the capacity of the working memory its capac-
ity limitation must be considered as it fails to help people to
recall information especially if there are distracting sources or
doing complex tasks during information retention (Gathercole
& Alloway, 2009). Abu Al-Naser (2009) mentioned that the
time limit for keeping information in the working memory
ranged from (20 - 30) seconds most of the time.
Individuals differ in the capacity of working memory and the
difference attributed to several factors such as: cognitive de-
velopment, where increasing the capacity of working memory
from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, and an individ-
ual’s ability to process information, and differences in the ca-
pacity of working memory among individuals (Davis, 2011).
Al-Zayyat (1998) pointed to a set of factors that affect the
working memory capacity and its effectiveness including: time
speech or presentation, anxiety or frustration, coding style and
quality, meaning, and emotional and psychological factors of
the individua l .
Since information in the working memory can be lost it must
be activated for retention purposes.
In order to keep the information in working memory for 30
seconds and not more than a few minutes, and access to long-
term memory, the individual uses many strategies and methods
to enable him from retention (Abo Alam, 1996; Abu Nasr,
2009). Al-Dardeer and Abdullah (2005) mentioned to some of
these methods, including the degree of concentration, and the
type of recitations, and learning strategies, and the inevitable
impact of previous learning.
Retention can’t be noted directly but it can be seen through
repetition and recognizing as well as information retrieving
(Al-Melhem, 2003). Keeping or retention means the ability to
retain what is taught. Al-Dafaee and Al-Muneffe (2006) argued
that this concept refers to the core of the subject or its main
Therefore, it is evident that the working memory has its im-
portance in school learning and in retaining information the
restoring it and retrieving it when needed. The process of re-
taining information doesn’t appear directly but through memo-
rizing and recalling process and this can’t be done except
through the models of testing the working memory capacity
mentioned in educational psychology studies. The researchers
in this study sought to test the capacity of the working memory
and its relationship with retention among secondary stage stu-
dents in Amman governorate.
After reviewing the related literature and previous studies it
was evident that there is a scarce- according to researchers- in
the studies addressing this issue directly. One study aimed to
measure the role of working memory capacity and gender in
reading comprehension in a sample of 230 male and female
students in the secondary stage in Irbid city was conducted by
Al-Hamori and Khsawneh (2011) they used listening period
test to measure the working memory capacity and reading
comprehension. The study concluded that there are significant
statistical differences between the averages of students’ per-
formance on the test capacity of working memory, and test
reading comprehension due to gender, in favor of females.
Findings revealed that reading comprehension is affected by the
capacity of working memory, and there was no effect of the
interaction between the capacity of working memory and gen-
der in reading comprehension.
Moreover, Swanson (2011) studied the role of working mem-
ory in children’s growth in mathematical problem solving was
examined in a longitudinal study of children (N = 127). A bat-
tery of tests was administered that assessed problem solving,
achievement, working memory, and cognitive processing (inhi-
bition, speed, phonological coding) in Grade 1 children, with
follow-up testing in Grades 2 and 3. The results showed that
Grade 1 predictors that contributed unique variance to Grade 3
word problem-solving performance were working memory,
naming speed, and inhibition and (b) growth in the executive
component of working memory was significantly related to
growth in word problem-solving accuracy. The results support
the notion that growth in the executive system of working
memory is an important predictor of growth in children’s prob-
lem solving beyond the contribution of cognitive measures of
inattention, inhibition, and processing speed as well as achieve-
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A. AL-YAMANI ET AL.
ment measures related to calculation and reading.
In a predictive study to investigate the ability of working
memory in predicting the ability to solve problems among stu-
dents, Zheng, Swanson, & Marccoulides, 2011) selected a ran-
dom sample of children in Grades 2, 3, and 4 (N = 310). A
battery of tests was administered to assess problem-solving
accuracy, problem-solving processes, working memory, reading,
and math calculation. Structural equation modeling analyses
indicated that all three working memory components signifi-
cantly predicted problem-solving accuracy, reading skills and
calculation proficiency mediated the predictive effects of the
central executive system and the phonological loop on solution
accuracy, and a cademic med ia tors.
Another study dealt with Retention was conducted by Ab-
delhaq & Al-Khatib (2011) the purpose of the study was to
explore the maintain the levels of seventh grade in patterns of
linguistic and grammatical concepts that they previously stud-
ied after the implementation of educational development based
on the knowledge of economy in Jordan. The research has been
limited on a sample randomly selected from Zarqa schools,
consisting of 490 students. The test has been designed accord-
ing to the table specification, taking into account the difficulty
index and discrimination and procedures for them validity and
reliability of the test were conduct. The research revealed that
24% of the sample of retention was satisfactory set by the arbi-
trators 68%. Moreover, there is no statistically significant dif-
ference between result of male and female.
In the context of the relationship between maintaining and
the strategies of memory activation Barakat (2010) studied the
strategies that are used by the Al-Quds Open University Stu-
dents to enhance the maintenance of information so that enable
them easily remembering it later. To achieve this purpose, the
researcher randomly selected a stratified sample consisted at
232 students (100 male, and 132 female), from Al-Quds Open
University in Tulkarem; whom respond to a 25-item instrument
which was designed for the purpose of this study. The results
revealed that the students focus in using the strategies in medial
level, the results also showed that the most five effective strate-
gies in enhancing maintaining and remembering information in
arrangement were: Underline the important parts in the text, put
marks and signs on the important parts, using the distributed
study, understanding instead of memorizing, and joining parts
of the material with each other. The results indicated that there
were no significant differences in using these strategies among
students due to gender, specialization, and academic achieve-
In order to explore the correlation relationship between the
capacity of the working memory and reading comprehension
Jincho, Namiki & Mazukam (2008) studied the effects of verbal
working memory and cumulative linguistic knowledge on read-
ing comprehension among 62 male and female students in
Useda University in Japapn within two tests the Japanese Read-
ing Span Test cumulative linguistic knowledge was assessed
using information, vocabulary, and similarity subtests of the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence. The results showed that verbal
working memory and cumulative linguistic knowledge were
independent of each other, and that verbal working memory and
cumulative linguistic knowledge independently contributed to
In the other hand, Al-Luqta (2007) studied the relationship
between the capacity of the working memory, cognitive pattern
and the speed of cognition in mental operations used to solve
problems among Jordanian students. The researcher selected a
random cluster sample totaling 318 students in the first secon-
dary scientific stage in Amman area. The researcher adminis-
trated working memory capacity test, solving problems test,
cognitive pattern test and cognition speed test. The findings
related to the memory capacity showed that there is positive
correlation relationship between the capacity of the working
memory, cognitive pattern, cognition speed and problem solv-
Al-Khatib (2005) study aimed at finding out the retention of
grade eight students of the grammatical and inflectional con-
cepts required for grades five and six. The sample of the study
consisted of 467 students. To answer the questions of the study,
the researcher devised a special achievement test. The appro-
priate statistical treatment was used. The results showed that
students’ retention of the grammatical and inflectional concepts
was 63.6% below the acceptable level agreed upon by the team
of juries which was 70%. The results also showed that there
were significant differences in the retention of these concepts
between female and male students in favor of females.
In another study named working memory as short term mem-
ory Maleha (2003) studied the relationship between short term
memory and long term memory and the ability to solve prob-
lems among tenth graders. The sample of the study consisted of
92 male and female students. To achieve the aim of this study
the researcher used three tests, short term memory test con-
sisted of 20 Arabic and foreign words, the long term memory
test consisted of a story with ten Arabic unfamiliar names and
the mathematical problem solving test. The findings of the
study indicated that there were no significant statistical differ-
ences between the means of students’ scores in the ability to
solve problems test and their scores in the short memory test.
There is a relationship between male and female students’
scores in the ability to solve problems and the interaction be-
tween then scores in both tests of memory.
In an empirical study MacNamara & Scott (2001) examined
the role of strategy use in working memory tasks by providing
short-term memory task strategy training to participants. In
Experiment 1, the participants received four sessions of training
to use a story-formation (i.e., chaining) strategy. There were
substantial improvements from pretest to posttest (after training)
in terms of both short-term memory task and working memory
task performance. Experiment 2 demonstrated that working
memory task improvement did not occur for control partici-
pants, who were given the same amount of practice but were
not provided with strategy instructions. An assessment of par-
ticipants’ strategy use on the short-term memory task before
training indicated that more strategic participants displayed
better working memory task performance and better verbal
skills. These results support our hypothesis that strategy use
influences performance on working memory tasks.
Meanwhile, Goolkazian & Foos (2002) studied the separate
cognitive demands of processing and storage in working mem-
ory and looked at how effective the coordination was when
items for storage varied in format/modality. A sentence verifi-
cation task involving arithmetic facts was combined with a span
task involving two to six items presented in picture, printed
word, or spoken word format. The first two experiments were
the same, except for the added requirement of articulation of
the math sentence in Experiment 2. Experiment 3 varied the
length of the span item and compared recall with recognition
performance. The results showed that both spoken words and
A. AL-YAMANI ET AL.
pictures produced superior recall and recognition, as compared
with printed words, and are consistent with Baddeley and
Logie’s (1999) and Mayer’s (2001) models of working memory.
Also, the differences in processing performance across spans
varied with the difficulty of the task but showed the strongest
support for the resource allocation mode l.
It is noted that some of the studies dealt with issue of work-
ing memory with ot her varia bles such as ret ention an d the same
with other retention studies. Therefore, the current study is
different from those studies as it aimed to explore the relation-
ship between the capacity of the working memory and retention
among secondary stage students in Jordanian environment in
order to add a new knowledge in this field.
Study Objectives and Questions
The purpose of this study is to explore the capacity of the
working memory and its relationship with the ability to retain
among secondary stage students in Amman governorate in Jor-
dan. In addition, the study aimed to explore if there is statistical
differences in the working memory capacity and retention at-
tributed to gender and achievement. Specifically, the study
sought to answer the following questions:
1) What is the capacity of working Memory among sec-
ondary stage students in Amman governorate?
2) What is the level of conserving information among
secondary stage students in Amman governorate?
3) Is there a significant correlation relationship at the
level of (α = 0.05) between the capacity of working memory
and the level of conserving among secondary stage students
in Amman governorate?
The importance of this study is based on the importance of
human memory and its role in learning and teaching as well as
social interaction, especially the working memory which is
considered as the center of processing information to move it to
the long term memory which is the base of the social, emotional
and cognitive structure of individuals.
Knowing the types of memory and the relationship between
the work memory and retention may help students in planning
to use methods and strategies to enhance the levels of working
memory capacity as well as fostering the ability to retain and
processing information. The importance of the current study
can be summarized as follows:
- Theoretical aspect: The new addition to the knowledge
and to the Arabic library in order to help students to under-
stand the relationship between the working memory capac-
ity and retention of information.
- Practical aspect: The consequences of the study findings
which can be transferred to the educational field. Moreover,
the findings can be a good assistant to teachers in the field
and even for students to enhance their ability to process in-
formation and restore them in the long term memory.
- Objective aspect: The novelty of the subject since there are
no studies in the same field.
The researchers present the terms related to the study despite
the fact that there is no agreement on the meaning of those
terms. However, the definitions are meant for more explana-
- Working Memory: The ability of the brain to retain infor-
mation for a short period of time and employing it in dif-
ferent cognitive tasks (Dehn, 2008: p. 23). For the purposes
of this study it is the scores of the sample through their an-
swers on the listening period test developed by (Daneman
& Carpenter, 1980) and used in Al-hamouri and Khsawneh
- Ability to retain: It is the ability to conserve what had been
learned (Abu Alam, 1996: p. 348). Al-Dafee and Al-Mu-
neffe (2006: p. 136) argued that this concept is about con-
serving the core of the subject or its main elements. For the
purposes of this study it is it is the scores of the sample
through their answers on the retention test.
- Secondary Stage students: Secondary stage students in the
Academic streams: scientific, IT and literature in Amman II
educational directorate in the schooling year 2010/2011.
Limitations of the Study
Generalizing the findings of this study is limited to:
1) Objective limitations: The study investigates the correla-
tion relationship between the capacity of the working memory
and its relationship between the ability to retain information
among secondary stage students in Amman Governorate.
2) Human Limitations: The study is limited to the Secon-
dary stage students in the Academic streams: scientific, IT and
3) Place and time limitations: The study was conducted in
Amman city in the schooling year 2010/2011.
4) The limits of this study are as follows:
- The psychometric properties of the tools of this study.
- The validity and objectivity of the samples’ answers on the
tests which are applied.
Methodology & Procedures
The researcher adopted Survey approach which is considered
one type of descriptive studies that describe the characteristics
of students as it is as well as studying the correlation relation-
ship between the variables (Al-Hamdani, Al-Jadri, Qandlji, &
Abu-Zina, 2006). The researcher adopted this approach since it
is appropriate for the nature of this study and its questions; this
approach provides an accurate description of the phenomena
through collecting data and research design. Moreover, it helps
in organizing data and findings the correlation relationship
between the main variables, statistical differences of personal
information in order to reach accurate information.
The population of the study consisted of secondary stage
students in Academic streams: scientific, information technol-
ogy and Literature in Amman second Educational Directorate
in the schooling year 2010/2011 totaling (5327) male and fe-
male students (2547 males, 2780 females) according to the
manual of the planning and Educational Research directorate in
the ministry of education in 2010/2011.
The researcher selected 293 male and female students as a
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A. AL-YAMANI ET AL.
partial sample drawn from the population with the same char-
acteristics. The sample was selected through random cluster
sampling by using (Bartlett, Kotrlik, & Higgins, 2001) model
as the researcher selected four classes from males schools and
four classes from female schools randomly. Therefore, the
sample consisted of 174 male students an d 119 female student s.
Table 1 shows the distribution of the sample.
In order to investigate the capacity of the working memory
and its relationship of maintain information among secondary
stage students the researcher administrated two tools:
Listening Period Test
The researcher administrated (Daneman & Carpenter,
1980) used in Al-Hamour and Khsawneh (2011). The test con-
sisted of two parts, each part contained five gradual levels of
difficulty from the second level which includes two sentences
to the sixth level includes six sentences, the total number of
sentences is 40, 20 in each part. Knowing that the sentences are
simple and the test required recalling the last word of the sen-
tence after hearing it.
To ensure that the student heard all the sentences, they were
divided into 20 correct sentences and 20 wring sentences, the
student’s marks wrong or correct in front of the sentence.
To check validity the scale was rated by 10 specialized raters
in Educational psychology and measurement at Jordanian uni-
versities within its correctness and appropriateness. The re-
searcher considered all comments in the final draft of the test.
In order to calculate validity the researcher used Cronbach
Alfa Confinement through administrating the tools on 25 stu-
dents, the reliability ra tio totaled 0. 8 5.
Retention Ability Test
The researcher developed an achievement test to measure
first secondary class students ability to conserve Biology in the
first semester of the schooling year 2012/2013. After reviewing
the book and designing detail schedule the test was developed
accordingly with consideration to Bloom taxonomy. The test
was multiple choice form in order to be easy in application and
correction. The test consisted of 25 items with four alternatives
in its draft form.
1) Validity of the Test
To check validity the scale was rated by 10 specialized raters
in Educational psychology and measurement at Jordanian uni-
versities within its correctness and appropriateness. The re-
searcher considered all comments in the final draft of the test
within an agreement rate of 80% between raters. The comments
contained omitting five items and modifying other items, then
evaluation level was omitted and the description schedule was
as show in Table 2.
2) Reliability of Retention Ability Test
A pilot sample totaling 23 students was selected from one of
the first secondary classes in Amman II educational directorate
from outside the sample. The researcher administrated the test
two times within a period of two weeks. After correcting and
scoring the test Pearson coefficient was used showing 0.86
validity rate. This means that the test is reliable for the purposes
of the study. Moreover, internal constancy by using Cronbach
Alfa was used totaling 0.89 showing that the test can be admin-
istrated on the study sample.
3) Difficulty and Discrimination Coefficients
Coefficients have been calculated for difficulty and dis-
crimination for each item of the test, through experimentation
initial exploratory test on the sample, the number of students 23
students. After, correcting students’ responses coefficients of
difficulty and discrimination factors for each item of the test
were calculated, the coefficients ranged from discrimination
test between 0.25 - 0.72 and difficulty ranged between 0.31 -
0.77, Table 3 presents the values.
4) Scoring the Retention Test Ability
The achievement test consisted of 20 multiple choice items;
one mark was given for the correct answer while zero was
given for the wrong answer. Therefore, the total score for the
test was 20.
The study consisted of two main variables, those are:
- Working Memory.
- Retention Ability.
In order to achieve the aim of this study the researcher car-
ried out the following procedures:
- Reviewing the related literature and previous studies in
order to develop the tools of this study.
- Determining the study population in Amman Educational
Directorate by using cluster sampling to draw the sample.
- The researcher administrated the tools manually by visiting
schools and explaining the aim of the study and its proce-
dures then supervising the process of collecting data from
- Extracting data and processing them on (SPSS) software .
- Interpreting results through its logical reasons according the
related literature and previous studies then presenting rec-
The researcher used the related statistics to answer the study
questions as follows:
- For the first and third question the researcher used means
and st andard deviat ions.
- To answer the third question the researcher used Pearson
Findings and Discussion
Hereby the findings of the study with detailed discussion for
The First Question: What Is the Capacity of Working
Memory among Secondary Stage Students in Amman
To answer this question the means and standard deviations
were calculated for the capacity of working memory among
secondary stage students in Amman governorate. The findings
showed that the mean of the working memory capacity totaled
29.50 with a standard deviation of 6.13 showing a high degree,
this indicates the ability of students to process information and
using it in addition to the ability to use their knowledge and
A. AL-YAMANI ET AL.
Open Access 743
Frequencies and percentages according to the variables.
Variable Categories Frequency %
male 174 59.4
Gender female 119 40.6
Less than 70 59 20.1
70- less than 80 128 43.7
80 more than 106 36.2
Total 293 100
Memorization Understanding Implementation Total
Taxonomy Unit Freq % Freq % Freq % Freq %
Unit One 4 %20 3 %15 4 %20 11 %55
Unit two 3 %15 4 %20 2 %10 9 %45
Total number of questions 7 %35 7 %35 6 %30 20 %100
Difficulty and discrimination coefficients of retention ability test.
Item Difficulty Discrimination Item Difficulty Discrimination
1 0.68 0.31 11 0.31 0.56
2 0.3 0.33 12 0.52 0.36
3 0.3 0.34 13 0.34 0.62
4 0.33 0.42 14 0.41 0.68
5 0.72 0.39 15 0.41 0.77
6 0.52 0.46 16 0.55 0.58
7 0.62 0.41 17 0.7 0.33
8 0.34 0.35 18 0.66 0.51
9 0.55 0.75 19 0.38 0.7
10 0.38 0.35 20 0.48 0.31
memorization aids to store the information in the working
memory. The researcher noted that students used coding, repe-
tition and conceptual images as those can help in increasing
working memory in order to conserve information (Gathercole
& Alloway, 2009). Since the working memory capacity doesn’t
exceed one minute (Abu Al-Naser, 2009) this agreed with the
method of testing students, as researchers noted that capacity
working memory of the students are as a model in tests with
little number of questions. The memory decreased when the test
item increased, this led to high scores in this test.
Individuals differ in the working memory capacity due to
several factors such as knowledge growth as the ability of the
working memory increase from childhood to adolescence and
adultness (Davis, 2011). Al-Zayyat (1998) indicated that there
are many factors affecting the working memory such as: dis-
play time, anxiety, frustration, type of coding and the psycho-
logical factors of the individuals.
Moreover, since the information in the working memory can
be lost therefore, it must be activated in order to maintain in-
formation and to keep those information for 30 seconds or sev-
eral minutes then it goes to the long term memory. To keep
information the individual uses many strategies and mnemonics
(Abu Alam, 1996; Abu Al-Naser, 2009). Aldardeer & Abdullah
(2005) mentioned some of those strategies such as concentra-
tion degree, memorization type, learning strategies and the
absolute effect of pre-learning.
With regard to the comparison with previous studies there
were no studies discussed this issue—according to the re-
searchers—so, there is no comparison within agreement or
The Second Questions: What Is the Level of
Conserving Information among Secondary Stage
Students in Amman Governorate?
To answer this question the researcher calculated means and
standard deviations for the level of conserving information
among secondary stage students in Amman governorate. The
findings showed that the means of students ability totaled 13.86
with a standard deviation of 3.61, this shows a low level and
this might be referred to the test which measures keeping in-
formation from previous semester and this long period may
cause forgetting those information as the capacity of the work-
ing memory alone is not enough to keep information for a long
period of time and moving it to the long term memory, and
there are other important factors such as the strategies used by
A. AL-YAMANI ET AL.
students or the teaching methods which led to this low score.
The findings of this question are consistent with the findings
of Al-Khatib (2005) study which showed that student are weak
in conserving the mentioned concepts as the rate was 63.6
shoeing a low degree of Retention. However, the findings dis-
agreed with Abdelhaq & Al-Khatib (2011) study which showed
that 24% of students conserve information in an acceptable
The Third Question: Is There a Significant
Correlation Relationship at the Level of (α = 0.05)
between the Capacity of Working Memory and the
Level of Conserving among Secondary Stage Students
in Amman Governorate?
To answer this question Pearson Coefficient was calculated
between the capacity of working memory and the level of con-
serving among secondary stage students in Amman governorate.
Table 3 presents the findings.
Table 4 shows that there is a positive correlation relationship
between the capacity of the working memory and the level of
conserving information among secondary stage students in
Amman governorate. This indicates that a student who has high
memory capacity has the ability to retain for a long time if he
uses of working memory strategies as well as processing in-
formation strategies. The working memory is not a storage or a
route for data but it contains processing and making informa-
tion ready to be moved to the long term memory. (Jonidei &
Nee, 2006) mentioned that the working memory is an important
cognitive ability contributing in the higher cognitive functions
such as reading comprehension, logical training and problem
Since the information in the working memory can be lost
therefore, it must be activated in order to maintain information
and to keep those information for 30 seconds or several minutes
then it goes to the long term memory. To keep information the
individual uses many strategies and mnemonics (Abu Alam,
1996; Abu Al-Naser, 2009). Aldardeer & Abdullah (2005)
mentioned some of those strategies such as concentration de-
gree, memorization type, learning strategies and the absolute
effect of pre-learning. With regard to the comparison with pre-
vious studies there were no studies discussed this issue—ac-
cording to the researchers—so, there is no comparison within
agreement or disagreement.
Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recom-
mended the following:
Pearson coefficient was calculated between the capacity of working
memory and the level of conserving among secondary stage students in
Variable Correlation Retention a bility
Note: *Sig. (0.05). **Sig. (0.01).
- The findings showing the capacity of the working memory
to be high in leading to the detecting of students methods
used in kee ping this memory and benefiting other students.
- The need of taking careful attention to mnemonics and the
strategies that may help working memory in restoring and
- Concentrating in teaching methods that help students to
employ more than one sense in addition to the direct ex-
perience in teaching to increase the working memory ca-
pacity among students and help them to improve informa-
tion processing strategies.
- Developing teaching methods to cope with human memory
and concentrating in cognitive methods that increase stu-
- Developing learning skills among students to enable them
from increasing their ability to conserve information.
- Conducting more studies on working memory and its rela-
tionship with psychological and cognitive variables in other
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