Is Time-Based Prospective Remembering Mediated by Self-Initiated Rehearsals? Role of Incidental Cues, Ongoing Activity, Age, and Motivation

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The present research examined self-reported rehearsal processes in naturalistic time-based prospective memory tasks (Study 1 and 2) and compared them with the processes in event-based tasks (Study 3). Participants had to remember to phone the experimenter either at a prearranged time (a time-based task) or after receiving a certain text message (an event-based task) and record the details of occasions when they thought about this intention during a 7-day delay interval. The rehearsal and retrieval of time-based tasks was mediated by more automatic than deliberate self-initiated processes. Moreover, the number of reported rehearsals without any apparent triggers was reliably higher in time- than in event-based tasks. Additional findings concern the effects of age, motivation, and ongoing activities on rehearsal and prospective memory performance.

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