Original Article

Psychological Research PRPF

, 74:82

First online:

Implementation intentions about nonfocal event-based prospective memory tasks

  • J. Thadeus MeeksAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Georgia
  • , Richard L. MarshAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Georgia Email author 

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Implementation intentions are detailed and systematic plans that are developed during intention formation. We compared two different implementation intentions to standard event-based prospective memory instructions using three different kinds of intentions. Two of these intentions involved nonfocal cues whereas the remaining intention was about specific, focal cues. Implementation intentions dramatically increased detection performance for the nonfocal intentions. Because the exact cues could not be specified during intention formation, we argue that cue salience and that strengthening the cue to target action association are not very viable mechanisms to explain all instances of the beneficial consequences of forming implementation intentions.