Forgetting of intentions in demanding situations is rapid

Gilles O. Einstein, Mark A. McDaniel, Carrie L. Williford, Jason L. Pagan, R. Key Dismukes
2003 Journal of experimental psychology. Applied  
Demanding work settings often require the deferral of intended actions. In 3 experiments, participants were to withhold a response until they encountered a task change (which occurred 5, 15, or 40 s later). To approximate highly demanding settings, the experimenters sometimes divided attention during the delay period. During some of the delays the experimenters interrupted the participants with an additional task (Experiment 1). Demanding conditions as well as interruptions revealed rapid
more » ... ting of intentions at levels that would be considered significant in applied settings. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that this rapid forgetting was not reduced by strategic rehearsal and implementation intention strategies. The results suggest that maintaining intentions over brief delays is not a trivial task for the human cognitive system.
doi:10.1037/1076-898x.9.3.147 pmid:14570509 fatcat:dyc3ltkl3zaf5pxmn2li62um7q