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Recollecting naturally-occurring intentions: A study of cognitive and affective factors.
Ellis, J.A. & Nimmo-Smith, I.
Memory, 1, 107-126.
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This paper is concerned with the recall of naturally-occurring intentions during the interval between their formulation and their enactment, hours, days, or months later. When these intentions were spontaneously recalled, subjects recorded the prevailing cognitive and affective circumstances, and current events and actions. This task was undertaken for a period of five consecutive days. A subsequent task elicited similar information from the same subjects, on randomly sampled occasions that did not coincide with the recall of an intention, during a comparable time period. The results indicate that on occasions on which subjects report these spontaneous recollections, they often judge themselves to be concentrating less on a concurrent activity that requires less attention, compared to occasions on which behaviour is randomly sampled. The results suggest also that this prototypical 'recollective state' may vary with the type of intention that is recalled. The advantages and disadvantages of the methodology adopted in this study for research on prospective memory processes are considered.