Shelton, Jill T.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Episodic future thinking is defined as the ability to mentally project oneself self into the future and pre-experience an event. Prospective memory, on the other hand, is often defined as remembering to complete future intentions. Prospective memory includes two kinds of prospective memory tasks: event-based, or prospective memory prompted by some form of external cue or event, and time-based, or a task that an individual must remember to complete at a specific time. One area that synthesizes these two subjects is the realm of goal achievement, specifically academic goal achievement. In this study, I explored how episodic future thinking, when used as an encoding strategy, might affect both time and event-based naturalistic prospective memory tasks. In this naturalistic study, students generated a series of six academic goal-motivated tasks to be completed in the following three days. All academic goals were submitted over a Google form where students also answered whether they used internal or external reminders to remember their goals. Half of the participants underwent an episodic future thinking protocol when encoding their academic goals, which did not significantly increase prospective memory performance. There was a positive correlation between external cue use and academic goal achievement, implying there may be a benefit for using external reminders for remembering goals. In addition, results showed that students submitted their event-based goals at a higher rate when compared to their time-based goals.
I would like to thank the URaCE office for providing funding for this project through the SEARCH award. I would also like to thank my professors Dr. Shelton and Dr. Zelin for providing me direction, along with my research partner John Whittemore for helping me through this endeavor.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Sanford, Braden, "Envisioning success: an in depth look at the relationship between episodic future thinking and academic goal achievement" (2020). Honors Theses.