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Verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory data across a 43-year period (1973–2016) worldwide: Flynn and anti-Flynn effects

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Original languageEnglish
Article number105231
JournalData in Brief
Published1 Apr 2020

King's Authors


Secular gain and drop in cognitive test performances over time have been observed and called respectively the Flynn and anti-Flynn effects. The current datasets include raw data from an investigation of the Flynn and/or anti-Flynn effects on verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory reported in ‘The Flynn effect for verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory: A cross-temporal meta-analysis’ (Wongupparaj, Wongupparaj, Kumari, Morris, 2017) [1]. Specifically, the datasets totally contain 1754 individual samples (n = 139,677) across a 43-year period from forward/backward digit span (F/BDS) and forward/backward Corsi-block span (CBS) tests. Mean memory test scores, standard deviation scores, types of memory tests, years of publication, mean ages, male percentages, types of publication, types of countries, platforms of memory tests, and sample sizes were collected and included in the datasets. DS and CBS data are unique in that they can provide a rich source of trends concerning changing short-term and working memory test scores across memory types, test platforms, age groups, gender, and countries. Further, these data can be of use for investigation of psychometric properties for the memory tests.

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