Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology
Dawn M. McBride
The current experiment proposes an examination of the effects of focality of processing and delays on event-based prospective memory tasks. Several perspectives regarding the process of remembering to perform an intended action in the future have been proposed by researchers in this area. Smith (2007) proposed the Preparatory Attentional and Memory (PAM) process theory regarding PM. According to the PAM theory, the retrieval of a prospective memory continuously requires resource-demanding preparatory attentional processes, or effortful and deliberate focus. Further, it suggests that successful PM retrieval is never automatic and that attention to the PM task interferes with and compromises ongoing task performance (Smith, 2003). A comparative perspective to the PAM theory on prospective memory is the multi-process view (MP) first proposed by Einstein and McDaniel (2000). This view states that prospective memory retrieval can occur spontaneously in some cases in the absence of monitoring when a PM cue is presented. A third perspective on prospective memory processing is transfer-appropriate processing (TAP), originally proposed by Morris, Bransford and Franks (1977) for explicit memory retrieval. TAP is traditionally applied when addressing memory performance in typical memory experiments involving study and test episodes, but it has been applied to PM task performance in recent years. According to TAP, memory is enhanced when similar processing occurs during the study and test phases. When the TAP view is applied to PM, the view suggests that the degree of overlap in processing between the ongoing task and the PM task influences PM performance (Maylor, 1996). To examine these three perspectives, we plan to use three distinct ongoing tasks, which will consist of a focal-match condition (i.e., identify types of fish among true/false sentence verification tasks), a non-focal match condition (i.e., identify types of fish among living/non-living judgments), and finally a non-focal mismatch condition (i.e., identify types of fish among identifying if a word has more than one vowel). Additionally, we plan to manipulate these conditions across various timing delays to evaluate conditions in which monitoring should not occur due to the length of time between PM instruction and PM cue presentation. A pilot study consisting of only the focal-match task, yielded results supportive of the findings of McBride and Abney (2012).
Petrella, Samantha Nicole, "The Effects of Focality of Processing and Delay on Event-Based Prospective Memory" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 230.