Committee Chair

Shelton, Jill T.

Committee Member

Warren, Amye; Foerder, Preston


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


I investigated how memory for future intentions (termed prospective memory or PM) was impacted by interruptions, unresolved interruptions, and delays. The PM task was to shop for eight items within an environmental sustainability rating task. A comedy routine appeared after participants had rated several items for both interruption groups, while the delay group viewed the comedy routine before beginning the shopping task. In the unresolved interruption group the comedy routine never reached its conclusion. I predicted that 1) PM performance would be hindered by interruptions with the unresolved group performing worst, 2) that working memory capacity would moderate effects of interruptions on PM performance, and 3) that interruptions would influence gaze patterns such that less information was considered when making consumer decisions relative to delays. Interestingly, delays rather than interruptions negatively impacted PM performance. Working memory capacity predicted PM performance across conditions. No distinct gaze patterns were observed between conditions.


First, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Jill Shelton for helping me see this thesis to completion from the beginning. I also would like to thank UTC’s Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) for funding my graduate assistantship as I pursued my M.S. in Research Psychology. Additional funding was provided by the Provost Student Research Award (PSRA). I express my gratitude to both Dr. Amye Warren and Dr. Preston Foerder for providing timely feedback on my initial proposal and helping me make practical adjustments to my experiment’s procedures after pilot studies. I thank with the deepest gratitude my dear friend Sally Swanson who often kept me company as she pursued her own research as a UTC graduate student. I would lastly like to acknowledge two incredibly dependable and enthusiastic undergraduate research assistants, Lydia May and Hannah Allen. Both students gave dozens of hours to running participants in this study and assisting with other studies. I thank you all sincerely.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Prospective memory; Short-term memory


Prospect memory; Interruptions; Closure; Working memory



Document Type

Masters theses


xii, 66 leaves