Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology


Dr. Richard Pak

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Rosopa

Committee Member

Dr. Paul Merritt


Prospective memory failures (or failures to remember a future intention) can result in a wide range of negative consequences. The use of reminders has been shown to improve the rate of PM successes. The aim of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of reminders based on their type (text or picture) and their timing. We hypothesized that successful PM performance would be successfully maintained over longer anticipatory intervals when paired with picture reminders rather than with simple text reminders because of the inherent distinctiveness of pictures. We also expected that performance for younger adults would be better than that of older adults except in conditions pairing a long anticipatory interval with a picture reminder. We expected that in these conditions, performance for younger and older adults would be statistically similar. Our hypotheses were not confirmed, suggesting that an increase in the distinctiveness of a reminder does not increase remembering performance. When considered with previous research, this suggests that design of future reminding aids should focus on increasing the distinctiveness at the initial time of cue encoding rather than increasing the distinctiveness of reminders.