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The first signs of prospective memory

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We conducted a study to examine the impact of motivation and length of delay on performance on prospective memory (PM) tasks in 2-year of children. A total of 158 children aged exactly 24 months were asked to perform a naturalistic PM task. Length of delay (10 min; 35 min) and motivation (high; very high) were between-subjects factors. Two thirds of children had to be excluded from the analysis because of poor retrospective memory for the PM task instructions which were no longer remembered at the end of the session. For the children who did remember the instructions, both motivation and delay had significant effects on PM. Also, their PM performance was reliably above zero, even after the long delay. The findings indicate that when children as young as 24 months are able to remember the PM task instructions they can reliably succeed in PM tasks that are intrinsically motivating for them.
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Keywords: Prospective memory; children; delay; motivation; retrospective memory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland 2: Applied Memory Research Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland 3: Early Child Development Psychology Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Publication date: November 26, 2018

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