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Title: The Influence of Cue-related Factors in Children and Adults' Prospective Memory
Author: Zhang, Xiaoyi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3577 3757
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2008
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· Prospective memory refers to remembering to carry out our intended actions at an appropriate moment, e.g. when a target cue occurs. McDaniel and Einstein (2000) suggested that whether this process is automatic or strategic depends on various factors, such as the nature ofthe ongoing task, the parameters of the prospective memory cues, the · importance of the prospective memory task, and individual differences, etc. This thesis . research investigated the cue-related factors in prospective memory in children and adults, specifically, cue-distinctiveness, cue-specificity, and cue-intended action association. Moreover, as children's executive skills develop over time, another aim of the thesis · research was to explore the relationship between children's prospective memory performance and their attentional skills. Experiment 1 examined the effects of cue specificity and cue distinctiveness in 6-year-olds · and 8-year-olds' prospective memory with pictorial cues, and revealed a reliable age effect and interaction between age and specificity, such that the age effect was reliable only in the general cue condition. Experiment 2 extended this to 5-year-olds, and combining data from Experiments I and 2 revealed that a general cue disadvantaged 5-year-olds to the same extent as 6-year-olds. Experiment 3 examined the same factors in 7- to 9-year-old children with semantic cues, and failed to reveal a reliable age effect. Moreover, the distinctiveness effect occurred only in the general cue condition. Experiment 10 explored the cue-intended action association in 6- and 9-year-old children's prospective memory, and revealed a reliable age effect, but no effect ofassociation. Experiments 4-6 examined cue distinctiveness, cue specificity and divided attention effect in young adults, and consistently revealed an effect of divided attention. However, this effect was not greater in the general cue condition than in the specific cue condition. Experiment 7 was conducted with older adults exploring the cue specificity and cue distinctive effect and revealed a main effect of specificity. Experiments 8-9 were carried out to explore the effect ofattention, cue distinctiveness and cue targ'et-intended action association in young adults and obtained a reliable effect of attention and distinctiveness, but no interactions between the three variables. Attentional skills were assessed in Experiments 1, 3, and lOin order to explore the relationship between children's prospective memory and their attentional skills; however, the results were not consistent across these experiments. In conclusion, this thesis test the hypothesis that cue-related factors would affect the degree to which automatic or strategic process are involved in prospective memory, by examining a) the age difference in children and older adults compared with young adults, b) divided attention effect. The results did not support the hypothesis consistently, and the overa)) findings are discussed with references to the theories and other findings of prospective memory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available