Resources-a theoretical soup stone?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Argues that many effects that are usually interpreted to indicate that a process in question is resource-dependent are equally likely even when investment of limited resources is not assumed. In particular, it is shown that 3 tests of resource dependence, based on predicted interaction between task difficulty and resource availability and considered to be more diagnostic than other tests, are actually subject to severe constraints. It is claimed that most of the problems stem from the self-reinforcing nature of the notion of resources, that nonetheless such circularity is tolerable in the case of an intervening variable that allows explanation and prediction of a wide range of empirical observations, and that if resource theory fails to provide such explanations and predictions, it may turn out to be "excess baggage." Several novel methodological suggestions are examined. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-234
Number of pages19
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1984


  • theoretical assumptions in cognitive psychology research & application of resource theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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