Prospective memory : from intention to action

S.M. Berg, van den

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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The goal of this thesis is to provide insight into the psychological processes that subserve remembering and acting on behavioural intentions. People have many plans but often do not carry out these intended activities: they change their minds, or they are physically unable to carry out the planned activity, but often they simply forget. Behavioural intentions may be forgotten due to distractions: we may intend to prepare dinner in a few minutes time but when the doorbell suddenly rings and a neighbour starts discussing the latest gossip, we may forget all about dinner. Alternatively, we may forget an intended activity because we have not specified well enough how, where and when the activity will take place. Planning is an important step between the formation of an intention and acting on it. An intention to buy fuses is more likely to result in action if the intention is accompanied by a specific plan to do it next Thursday when we go shopping. In addition, some intended activities are carried out frequently, perhaps on a habitual basis. For example we may add sugar every time we pour ourselves a cup of coffee. The general observation is that habitual intended activities are almost never forgotten.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences
  • Midden, Cees, Promotor
  • Verplanken, B., Promotor, External person
  • Aarts, H.A.G., Copromotor
Award date26 Nov 2002
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs90-386-1907-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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