Prospective Memory: Theory and Applications

Prospective Memory: Theory and Applications

Prospective Memory: Theory and Applications

Prospective Memory: Theory and Applications

Synopsis

Devoted exclusively to prospective memory, this volume organizes the research and thoughts of the important contributors to the field in one comprehensive resource. The chapter authors not only focus on their own work, but also review other research areas and address those where the methods and theories from the retrospective memory literature are useful and where they fall short. Each section is followed by at least one commentary written by a prominent scholar in the field of memory. The commentators present critical analyses of the chapters, note ideas that they found particularly exciting, and use these ideas as a foundation on which to elaborate their own views of prospective memory.

This volume will stimulate the thinking of active prospective memory researchers, provide a coherent organization of the area for the increasing number of people who are interested in prospective memory but who are not yet actively conducting research in the area, and serve as a book of readings for upper division seminars.

Excerpt

In 1984, John Harris wrote an important review paper on prospective memory. This paper is noteworthy, not only for its clear and compelling organization of the existing knowledge in this nascent field, but also for its revelation that there had been little interest and few programmatic research efforts in prospective memory. The zeitgeist in contemporary cognitive psychology is becoming friendlier toward prospective memory research as recent developments in psychology are stimulating fresh interest in the subject. The rise in research activity on prospective memory corresponds nicely with heightened interest both in everyday memory and in the practical applications of memory research. As one indication of this increased interest, there were two paper sessions and one poster session devoted exclusively to prospective memory at the 1994 Practical Aspects of Memory Conference. Research programs by Park and Kidder (this volume) on medication adherence, by Camp, Foss, Stevens, and O'Hanlon (this volume) on effective strategies for improving prospective memory in persons with Alzheimer's disease, and by Vortac, Edwards, and Manning (in press) on prospective memory demands of air traffic controllers, provide ample evidence that prospective memory research has important applications for real-world memory problems.

Moreover, the processes and issues that are thought to be involved in prospective memory seem to have general relevance beyond that of prospective memory. One of the most salient features of prospective memory retrieval, for example, is that it often occurs spontaneously and without conscious attempts to interrogate memory (see Einstein & McDaniel, this volume). Thus, pros-

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