Sep 29, 2000

The properties of retention intervals and their affect on retaining prospective memories

Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Jason L HicksE J Russell


Five experiments were conducted to explore how the character of the retention interval affected event-based prospective memory. According to the canons of retrospective memory, prospective performance should have been worse with increasing delays between intention formation and the time it was appropriate to complete an action. That result did not occur. Rather, prospective memory was better with increasing retention intervals in Experiments 1A, 1B, and 3. In manipulating the nature of the retention interval, the authors found that there were independent contributions of retention interval length and the number of intervening activities, with more activities leading to better prospective memory (Experiments 2 and 3). The identical retention intervals did not improve retrospective memory in Experiment 4. Theoretical explanations for these dissociations between prospective and retrospective memory are considered.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Psychological Inhibition
Mental Recall
Retention (Psychology)

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