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Individual differences in incidental language learning: phonological working memory, learning styles and personality

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Learning and Individual Differences
Volume38
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)44-53
Publication statusPublished
Early online date3/02/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We investigated whether learning of word order and morphological case interacts with three individual differences: phonological working memory, learning styles, and personality. Thirty-six participants engaged with a semi-artificial language during incidental exposure. Learning was assessed by acceptability judgment and picture-matching tasks immediately after exposure and two weeks later. Participants also completed learning style and personality surveys as well as two assessments of phonological working memory. The immediate results showed a significant learning effect on acceptability judgment only. No relationships were found for phonological working memory though effects did emerge for the extraversion personality trait and several learning styles. At delayed testing, results showed maintenance of learning on acceptability judgment and significant improvement on picture-matching. At delayed testing no relationships between performance and individual differences were found. Overall, the results indicate that language learning under incidental exposure is durable and is not strongly constrained by individual differences tested here.