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time-based prospective memory, delay, reminders, naturalistic tasks


The current study examined the effect of a delay on naturalistic time-based prospective memory (PM) tasks. Two experiments were performed to compare PM performance on a texting task with delays of 1 to 6 days after an initial session. In the first experiment, half of the participants were asked to repeat their response with the same delay to test whether requiring a second response (i.e., a repeated PM task, such as taking medication at the same time each day) would affect time-based PM performance. In the second experiment, participants were given an implicit or an explicit reminder several hours before their time to respond to examine the effect of type of reminder on this PM task. The results of both experiments showed a significant decline in PM performance between the 1-day and multi-day delays. Repeating responses (Experiment 1) had no effect on accuracy of the PM task, but in Experiment 2, explicit experimenter-initiated reminders significantly increased time-based PM performance compared with implicit reminders. These results are discussed in the context of previous studies that have tested delay effects on time-based PM and current theoretical descriptions of time-based PM.

Funding Source

This study was funded by a grant from the Office of Student Research at Illinois State University. This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.


First published in Memory (2024):

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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