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The influence of partial-match cues on event-based prospective memory

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In event-based prospective memory tasks people form an intention to respond when an environmental cue signals that conditions are appropriate to fulfil an intended activity. In the ongoing activity the authors embedded partial-match cues that only partially, but not completely, satisfied the conditions required to make a prospective response. The consequence of encountering these partial-match cues was to increase responses to appropriate prospective memory cues encountered later. This outcome occurred both with semantic and orthographic cues, but only the former led to longer processing latencies of the partial-match cues. This asymmetry suggests that partial-match cues may not need to be processed consciously in order to benefit event-based prospective memory. A parametric manipulation of the number of partial-match cues resulted in numerically but not statistically better prospective memory. Consequently, partial-match cues may function as overt reminders of the intention to respond or they may serve to engage participants in self-initiated remindings of the intention.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA 2: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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