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Title: The importance of on-going concurrent activities as a function of age in time- and event-based prospective memory
Authors: d'Ydewalle, Géry ×
Luwel, Koen
Brunfaut, Els #
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Published for the European Society for Cognitive Psychology by L. Erlbaum Associates
Series Title: European Journal of Cognitive Psychology vol:11 issue:2 pages:219-237
Abstract: Time-based prospective memory is assumed to involve more self-initiated activities than event-based prospective memory. As age negatively affects self-initiated activities, older participants will show more prospective-memory deterioration than younger participants in time-based tasks. Einstein, McDaniel, Richardson, Guynn, and Cunfer (1995) indeed observed such a decrement in time-based prospective memory while d'Ydewalle, Utsi, and Brunfaut (1996) obtained a better time-based than event-based prospective memory among elderly. The on-going concurrent activity in Einstein et al. (1995) involved answering general questions, whereas d'Ydewalle et al. (1996) used a face-identification task. In an attempt to explain the discrepant results, the present experiment compares time- and event-based memory with young and older participants using the two types of on-going task. However, the better performance of the older participants in the time-based prospective memory task is obtained in the two on-going tasks. A difference in timing constraints in the procedure may explain why the older participants in Einstein et al. (1995) did perform more poorly in the time-based task, whereas our ageing participants did not show such a deterioration, suggesting that the slowing down of mental activities may provide a better explanation than the increasing lack of self-initiated activities by the elderly. All age effects in prospective-memory performance disappear when performance on the target items (i.e. items where a prospective-memory response is required) in the on-going task is taken into account. We emphasise the need to study trade-offs in prospective-memory research as a prospective-memory task is always embedded in another (on-going) activity.
ISSN: 0954-1446
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory for Experimental Psychology
Education and Training
Clinical Psychology
Instructional Psychology and Technology
Research Centre for Educational Research & Development, Campus Brussels (-)
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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