Remembering To Do Things For Others: Social Prospective Memory and Goal Activation

Fahlsing, Anna
Prospective memory (PM), or memory for intentions, is in an integral part of everyday life. Social prospective memory (social PM) is the subset of PM that affects other people, such as remembering to call your grandparents or meet a friend for lunch. While research suggests that social PM tasks are seen as more important and more likely to be completed, little research exists on mechanisms underlying these effects. The Goal-Based Motivational-Cognitive Model of Prospective Memory proposes that the relevance of a PM task to a particular goal will enhance PM performance by increasing several processes, including: increasing use of strategies, increasing accessibility of intentions, and increasing allocation of attention. The current study examined the effects of primed goals and chronic individual social goals on social PM performance (on a computerized task) and accessibility (by listing real-life tasks). Results support the Goal-Based Motivational-Cognitive Model of Prospective Memory, as social PM performance increased in males with an achievement goal primed and in females with a social goal primed, while accessibility of social PM tasks was higher for individuals with high chronic individual social goals.
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