Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Event based prospective memory (PM) refers to remembering to perform a particular action upon the presentation of a particular cue in the environment. Until recently, most models of event-based PM performance have suggested that the realization of the target event occurs automatically. The DARC model (Smith, 2000) is among the first to suggest that monitoring is required to notice the target event, in the form of a consistent, non-strategic dedication of resources. The predictions of the DARC model are contrasted with those of Einstein & McDaniel (Noticing + Search, 1996), Goschke & Kuhl (1996), Ellis (1996). The pilot study and experiment one test the idea that items distinctively encoded will be more memorable and more fluently processed, leading to better PM performance during the target task. Pilot data suggest that less monitoring is engaged when target items are more memorable. Experiment 1 attempted to replicate that finding and included a direct measure of retrieval fluency. Faster retrieval was associated with better PM performance in the distinctive condition. However, the same did not hold in the organizational condition. Experiment two manipulates the retrieval fluency of the target events when produced as answers to general knowledge questions (Benjamin, Bjork, & Schwartz, 1998). Target events more quickly generated at the time of target event encoding were expected to be associated with higher confidence that the target event will be recognizable, which should lead to less monitoring. In this case retrieval fluency would be misleading as an index of the need to monitor for the target items. Retrieval fluency did not reliably predict LDT performance in Experiment 2. Results of both experiments are discussed in light of the above mentioned models and McDaniel & Einstein's multiprocess framework (2001). Results are consistent with the notion that automatic and controlled processes are involved in the realization of an intention in an event based PM task.



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Committee Chair

Jason L. Hicks

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Psychology Commons