Performance predictions affect attentional processes of event-based prospective memory

Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):729-741 (2013)
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Abstract

To investigate whether making performance predictions affects prospective memory processing, we asked one group of participants to predict their performance in a PM task embedded in an ongoing task and compared their performance with a control group that made no predictions. A third group gave not only PM predictions but also ongoing-task predictions. Exclusive PM predictions resulted in slower ongoing-task responding both in a nonfocal and in a focal PM task. Only in the nonfocal task was the additional slowing accompanied by improved PM performance. Even in the nonfocal task, however, was the correlation between ongoing-task speed and PM performance reduced after predictions, suggesting that the slowing was not completely functional for PM. Prediction-induced changes could be avoided by asking participants to additionally predict their performance in the ongoing task. In sum, the present findings substantiate a role of metamemory for attention-allocation strategies of PM

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