Forgetting of Intentions in Demanding Situations is Rapid

Department of Psychology, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA.
Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied (Impact Factor: 1.75). 09/2003; 9(3):147-62. DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.9.3.147
Source: PubMed


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 sec 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 forgetting 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Gilles O Einstein
  • Source
    • "Carayon & Gurses 2005, Holden et al. 2011, Van Bogaert et al. 2013). A further typical consequence of higher levels of workload and frequent interruptions is a construct known as forgetting of intentions (Einstein et al. 2003, Baethge & Rigotti 2013). Even under optimally designed work conditions, an increase in nursing workload is expected in the near future. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate whether selective optimization with compensation constitutes an individualized action strategy for nurses wanting to maintain job performance under high workload. Background: High workload is a major threat to healthcare quality and performance. Selective optimization with compensation is considered to enhance the efficient use of intra-individual resources and, therefore, is expected to act as a buffer against the negative effects of high workload. Design: The study applied a diary design. Over five consecutive workday shifts, self-report data on workload was collected at three randomized occasions during each shift. Self-reported job performance was assessed in the evening. Self-reported selective optimization with compensation was assessed prior to the diary reporting. Methods: Data were collected in 2010. Overall, 136 nurses from 10 German hospitals participated. Selective optimization with compensation was assessed with a nine-item scale that was specifically developed for nursing. The NASA-TLX scale indicating the pace of task accomplishment was used to measure workload. Job performance was assessed with one item each concerning performance quality and forgetting of intentions. Results: There was a weaker negative association between workload and both indicators of job performance in nurses with a high level of selective optimization with compensation, compared with nurses with a low level. Considering the separate strategies, selection and compensation turned out to be effective. Conclusion: The use of selective optimization with compensation is conducive to nurses' job performance under high workload levels. This finding is in line with calls to empower nurses' individual decision-making.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Advanced Nursing
  • Source
    • "Future research should better classify monitoring strategies using RT distribution estimates at the participant level and relate these profiles to individual-difference variables and ultimate PM performance. Theoretically, monitoring for event-based PM cues has been described as either continuously active from trial to trial (Guynn, 2003) or transiently occurring whenever the intention rarely comes to mind (Einstein et al., 2003). The results from the present study indicate that participants may be capable of using both continuous and transient strategies when monitoring for event-based cues. "

    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2015
  • Source
    • "ete incidences of behaviour . We cannot therefore investigate the extent to which each of these instances was habitual or reasoned ( e . g . Sniehotta 2009 ) . The intention measure also assessed a global intention towards behaviour over the coming two weeks , but intentions can fluctuate over time and may not be remembered at the time of action ( Einstein et al . 2003 ) . These reflect crucial limitations of the data collection and analysis methods that dominate the habit field ( Gardner 2015a ) ; the effect of habits and intentions on the action of an individual on discrete occasions cannot be reliably estimated based on data aggregated across individuals and instances ( e . g . Jaccard 2012 ) . It "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Habit is defined as a process whereby an impulse towards behaviour is automatically initiated upon encountering a setting in which the behaviour has been performed in the past. A central tenet of habit theory is that habit overrides intentional tendencies in directing behaviour, such that as habit strength increases, intention becomes less predictive of behaviour. Yet, evidence of this effect has been methodologically limited by modelling the impact of positively-correlated habits and intentions. This study sought to test the effect of habits for unhealthy snacking on the relationship between intentions to avoid unhealthy snacks and snack intake. Methods were chosen to match those used in studies that have shown habit-intention interactions. 239 adults completed valid and reliable measures of habitual snacking and intention to avoid snacking at baseline, and a self-report measure of snack intake two weeks later. Data were analysed using multiple regression. While both habit and intention independently predicted snack intake, no interaction between habit and intention was found. No support was found for the expected moderating impact of habit on the intention-behaviour relationship, indicating that individuals with intentions can act on those intentions despite having habits. Previous evidence of a habit-intention interaction effect may be unreliable. A growing literature indicates that habitual tendencies can be inhibited, albeit with difficulty. Habits and intentions may vary in the influence they exert over discrete behaviour instances. While the aggregation of behaviours across instances and individuals used in our study reflects the dominant methodology in habit research, it precludes examination of effects of in-situ habits and intentions. More sophisticated data collection and analysis methods may be needed to better understand potential habit-intention interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
Show more