Prospective Memory: An Overview and Synthesis of an Emerging Field

Prospective Memory: An Overview and Synthesis of an Emerging Field

By: Mark A. McDaniel (author), Gilles O. Einstein (author)Paperback

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When we think of memory, we typically think of remembering past events. However, there is another sort of memory for actions to be performed in the future, such as remembering to give a message to a friend, to take medication, or to turn off the oven. This sort of memory is called prospective memory, and it supports the planning and forward-looking activities that are a hallmark of human existence. However, despite a fast-growing literature and interest in prospective memory among psychologists, no integrative book provides an overview and synthesis of the theoretical and empirical work on this topic for instructors of memory courses and their students until now.

About Author

Mark A. McDaniel (Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1980) is a Professor of Psychology at Washington University. He conducts research on human learning and memory and particularly on prospective memory and memory and aging. One unifying theme in his research is the investigation of factors and processes that lead to memory and learning failures. McDaniel has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and edited books and is a leader in the field of prospective memory, with over two million dollars in grant support from NIH and NASA for memory and cognition research. He is a Fellow of Divisions 3 (Experimental Psychology) and 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association, a member of the Scientific and Program Committee for the Second and Third European Workshops on Imagery and Cognition, the past Associate Editor for two memory journals, including Associate Editor for five years for the flagship journal in memory, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, and currently is an Action Editor for Cognitive Psychology. He is a past President of the Rocky Mountain Psychology Association and is invited to talk on memory throughout the world, both to scientific audiences and to lay audiences of senior groups. Gilles O. Einstein (Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1977) is Professor and Chair of Psychology at Furman University. His research specialty is memory and aging, specifically aging and prospective memory, the roles of distinctive information and organization in memory, and mnemonic devices. He is a Fellow in Divisions 3 (Experimental Psychology) and 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association and also a member of the American Psychological Society and the Psychonomic Society. Einstein has over 65 published articles, book chapters, and edited books and, along with Mark McDaniel, is considered a leader in the field of prospective memory. He provides reviews for many journals on research in memory and is a past member of the editorial boards of two leading journals in memory. In addition to his reputation as a researcher, he has been recognized for his excellence in teaching with the Meritorious Teaching Award at Furman University, where nearly all of his research is done in collaboration with undergraduate students. (His enthusiasm for his work with students may be seen in the photo album he keeps on his university web page.)


1. Prospective Memory: A New Research Enterprise What is a Prospective Memory Task? Scientific Study of Prospective Memory 2. Monitoring in Prospective Memory Attentional Monitoring Preparatory Attentional Processes To Monitor or Not to Monitor: When is the Question Summary 3. Spontaneous Retrieval in Prospective Remembering Costs of Prospective Memory: Always Present? Spontaneous Retrieval Spontaneous Retrieval as a Reflexive Associative Memory Process Spontaneous Noticing Summary Chapter 4. Multiprocess Theory of Prospective Memory An Advantage of the Multiprocess Theory Multiprocess Theory Parameters of the Ongoing Task Parameters of Prospective Memory Cues Importance of the Prospective Memory Task Individual Differences and Intra-Individual Differences Planning Summary 5. Storage and Retention of Intended Actions Goschke and Kuhl's Paradigm Extending the Intention Superiority Effect Retention of Intended Actions Over Time: Immune to Forgetting? Retrieval of Intentions During the Retention Interval Summary 6. Planning and Encoding of Intentions Planning Implementation Intentions Individual Differences Summary 7. Prospective Memory and Life Span Development Prospective Memory in Children Prospective Memory in Older Adults Summary and Observations 8. Cognitive Neuroscience of Prospective Memory The Neuropsychology of Prospective Memory Neuroimaging and Prospective Memory Event-Related Brain Potentials (ERPs) Summary and Future Directions 9. Prospective Memory as it Applies to Work and Naturalistic Settings General Recommendations for Improving Prospective Memory An Analysis of a Prospective Memory Failure as Possible Interventions Limitations of Generalizing to Applied and Natural Settings on the Basis of Existing Laboratory Experiments Non-laboratory Methods for Investigating Prospective Memory External Reminding Devices Summary 10. Final Thoughts

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781412924696
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 280
  • ID: 9781412924696
  • ISBN10: 1412924693

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