Construct Validity of Procedural Memory Tasks Used in Adult-Learned Language

AbstractResearch has examined the role of domain-general cognitive factors in second language (L2) acquisition, with emerging evidence implicating a role for procedural memory, a long-term memory system (e.g., Morgan-Short et al., 2014). Strong conclusions regarding the role of procedural memory are hindered by the lack of knowledge regarding the reliability and validity of procedural memory assessments. In this study, participants completed three assessments of procedural memory that have previously been used to study L2 learning, along with assessments of declarative memory, working memory, and an artificial L2 learning task. Results indicated that the procedural memory assessments generally showed evidence of reliability and discriminant validity, but, somewhat surprisingly, evidence for convergent validity was lacking. Finally, one procedural memory assessment showed predictive validity for the L2 learning task. Implications for future research on the role of procedural memory in L2 acquisition will be considered in light of these results.

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