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ERIC Number: EJ1055970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Failing to Forget: Prospective Memory Commission Errors Can Result from Spontaneous Retrieval and Impaired Executive Control
Scullin, Michael K.; Bugg, Julie M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n3 p965-971 May 2013
Prospective memory (PM) research typically examines the ability to remember to execute delayed intentions but often ignores the ability to forget finished intentions. We had participants perform (or not perform; control group) a PM task and then instructed them that the PM task was finished. We later (re)presented the PM cue. Approximately 25% of participants made a "commission error," the erroneous repetition of a PM response following intention completion. Comparisons between the PM groups and control group suggested that commission errors occurred in the absence of preparatory monitoring. Response time analyses additionally suggested that some participants experienced fatigue across the ongoing task block, and those who did were more susceptible to making a commission error. These results supported the hypothesis that commission errors can arise from the spontaneous retrieval of finished intentions and possibly the failure to exert executive control to oppose the PM response.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Grant or Contract Numbers: F32AG041543