The valence of event-based prospective memory cues or the context in which they occur affects their detection

Arlo Clark-Foos, Gene A. Brewer, Richard L. Marsh, J. Thadeus Meeks, Gabriel I. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Event-based prospective memory tasks entail detecting cues or reminders in our environment related to previously established intentions. If they are detected at an opportune time, then the intention can be fulfilled. In Experiments 1 a-1 c, we gave people 3 different nonfocal intentions (e.g., respond to words denoting animals) and discovered that negatively valenced cues delivered the intention to mind less frequently than positively valenced cues. In Experiment 2, this effect was extended to valenced and neutral sentential contexts with convergent results that cues embedded in negatively valenced sentences evoked remembering the intention less often than in positive contexts. In addition, both classes of valence caused the intention to be forgotten more often than a more neutral context. We propose that valence has the ability to usurp attentional resources that otherwise would have supported successful prospective memory performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Volume122
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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