Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

First Advisor

Rebekah E. Smith

Second Advisor

Reed Hunt

Third Advisor

Jeffery Bednark


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Prospective memory is memory for activities to be performed in the future. These tasks vary in importance – such as remembering to pick up your medicine on the way home versus buying milk for the next morning – and vary in the amount of contextual information available, where contextual information allows an individual to predict when the intended action might be completed. While importance and context have been studied individually, their combined effects have not been explored. This experiment’s goal was to examine this unexplored interaction using established manipulations and tasks to facilitate comparison to previous work. In doing so, we found that when participants receive context for the prospective memory task and are told that the ongoing task is important, that context may lead participants to move their resources away from the important task. These findings suggest that importance and context do interact in previously unexplored ways, however more research is needed to explore this relationship.

Available for download on Saturday, September 13, 2025