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Prospective memory may be defined as remembering to remember (Winograd, 1988). It differs from retrospective memory, where passed actions, events, or knowledge are remembered. Prospective memory consists of recalling an action or an intention. This recall is triggered by either a stimulus or 'cue' or a time. For example, meeting a friend (the cue) might remind you to pass on a message (the intention). A time-based example would be remembering to watch TV at 8pm, or recalling a meeting or appointment at a certain time.

Tie a string around your finger
Tying ribbon or string around a finger is an iconic mnemonic device for remembering a particular future intention, which one consciously trains oneself to associate with the string.
LifeartistAdded by Lifeartist

Attention

A current debate is the extent to which prospective memory requires attentional resources to identify a cue. That is, prior to meeting the friend to whom you need to pass on the message, are any attentional resources devoting to maintaining this intention? The preparatory and attentional and memory process theory (PAM)(Smith, 2003; Smith & Bayen, 2004) argues that some resources are always necessary. In contrast, the multiprocess model of prospective memeory (McDaniel & Einstein, 2000) argues that a process as important as prospective memory would have a number of underlying mechanisms. They further argue that the properties of the prospective task, the nature of what you are doing at the time, and a number of other variables will influence whether cue identification is automatic or effortful.

Relatedly, it has also been argued that it may be how hard you perceive that it will be to identify the cue that mediates how much effort is used to monitor for it (Hicks, Marsh & Cook, 2005; Marsh, Hicks & Cook, 2005). Current research evidence suggests that effortful monitoring is not always required to identify cues (Hicks, Marsh & Cook, 2005, Einstein et al., 2005). This is consistent with the intuitive experience of an intention spontaneously 'popping' to mind.

References

  • Einstein, G. O., Mcdaniel, M. A., Thomas, R., Mayfield, S., Shank, H., Morrisette, N., et al. (2005). Multiple processes in prospective memory retrieval: Factors determining monitoring versus spontaneous retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134, 327-342.
  • Hicks, J. L., Marsh, R. L., & Cook, G. I. (2005). Task interference in time-based, event-based, and dual intention prospective memory conditions. Journal of Memory and Language, 53, 430-444.
  • Marsh, R. L., & Hicks, J. L. (1998). Event-based prospective memory and executive control of working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24, 336-349.
  • McDaniel, M. A., & Einstein, G. O. (2000). Strategic and automatic processes in prospective memory retrieval: A multiprocess framework. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 14, S127-S144.
  • Smith, R. E. (2003). The cost of remembering to remember in event-based prospective memory: Investigating the capacity demands of delayed intention performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 29(3), 347-361.
  • Smith, R. E., & Bayen, U. J. (2004). A multinomial model of event-based prospective memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 30(4), 756-777.
  • Winograd, E. (1988). Some observations on prospective remembering. In M. M. Gruneberg, P. E. Morris & R. N. Sykes (Eds.), Practical Aspects of Memory: Current Research and Issues (Vol. 2, pp. 348-353). Chichester: Wiley.

Memory
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Aspects of memory
Childhood amnesia | Cryptomnesia |Cued recall | Eye-witness testimony | Memory and emotion | Forgetting |Forgetting curve | Free recall | Levels-of-processing effect | Memory consolidation |Memory decay | Memory distrust syndrome |Memory inhibition | Memory and smell | Memory for the future | Memory loss | Memory optimization | Memory trace | Mnemonic | Memory biases  | Modality effect | Tip of the tongue | Lethologica | Memory loss |Priming | Primacy effect | Reconstruction | Proactive interference | Prompting | Recency effect | Recall (learning) | Recognition (learning) | Reminiscence | Retention | Retroactive interference | Serial position effect | Serial recall | Source amnesia |
Memory theory
Atkinson-Shiffrin | Baddeley | CLARION | Decay theory | Dual-coding theory | Interference theory |Memory consolidation | Memory encoding | Memory-prediction framework | Forgetting | Recall | Recognition |
Mnemonics
Method of loci | Mnemonic room system | Mnemonic dominic system | Mnemonic learning | Mnemonic link system |Mnemonic major system | Mnemonic peg system | [[]] |[[]] |
Neuroanatomy of memory
Amygdala | Hippocampus | prefrontal cortex  | Neurobiology of working memory | Neurophysiology of memory | Rhinal cortex | Synapses |[[]] |
Neurochemistry of memory
Glutamatergic system  | of short term memory | [[]] |[[]] | [[]] | [[]] | [[]] | [[]] |[[]] |
Developmental aspects of memory
Prenatal memory | |Childhood memory | Memory and aging | [[]] | [[]] |
Memory in clinical settings
Alcohol amnestic disorder | Amnesia | Dissociative fugue | False memory syndrome | False memory | Hyperthymesia | Memory and aging | Memory disorders | Memory distrust syndrome  Repressed memory  Traumatic memory |
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Treating memory problems
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Prominant workers in memory|-
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Philosophy and historical views of memory
Aristotle | [[]] |[[]] |[[]] |[[]] | [[]] | [[]] | [[]] |
Miscellaneous
Journals | Learning, Memory, and Cognition |Journal of Memory and Language |Memory |Memory and Cognition | [[]] | [[]] | [[]] |


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Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Cognitive Psychology: Attention · Decision making · Learning · Judgement · Memory · Motivation · Perception · Reasoning · Thinking  - Cognitive processes Cognition - Outline Index


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