Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Shelton, Jill, B.S., University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 2001 M.S., University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 2003 Doctor of Philosophy, Summer Commencement, 2008 Major: Psychology The Role of Attentional Focus in Event-based Prospective Memory. Dissertation directed by Professor Emily Elliott Pages in dissertation, 59. Words in abstract 188. ABSTRACT Two experiments were conducted to investigate how attentional resources are utilized in event-based prospective memory (PM). A PM component (make a designated response when you see a bird word) was embedded in a living/non-living judgment task (Experiment 1) and a recall task that required participants to alphabetically re-order sets of items (Experiment 2). One hypothesis predicts that the focus of attention (as defined by Cowan’s model of working memory) will be narrowed, or zoomed-in, when PM target items appear during an ongoing task. This could lead to task benefits or costs depending on the nature of the ongoing task. The zoom hypothesis was supported in Experiment 1, but high performance rates in Experiment 2 reduced the ability to observe any potential effects. The second hypothesis predicts that attentional control resources, as indexed by measures of working memory capacity, will be associated with PM performance, and this hypothesis was not supported in either experiment. The outcome of this research addresses several assumptions present within prominent theories of PM, and takes the first step in investigating how focal attention processes, in particular, influence PM performance and other ongoing cognitive activities.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Emily Elliott



Included in

Psychology Commons