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Intent Matters for Memory, Most of the Time for Most People: Reply to Craik (2023)


Dames, Hannah; Popov, Vencislav (2023). Intent Matters for Memory, Most of the Time for Most People: Reply to Craik (2023). PsyArXiv Preprints gwd4s, Cornell University.

Abstract

In his commentary, Craik argued that while intentional remembering might be effective for some populations and memory tasks, these are the exception, and that intent will not benefit memory if incidental encoding already induces optimal processing. While we agree with many of his points, we maintain that in most situations the processes induced by the intention to remember are more effective than those induced by deep semantic processing alone. We show that rather than being an exception to the rule, effects of intent appear with a variety of tasks such as free recall, cued recall, source memory and item recognition, in both mixed and pure lists. Specifically, the intent to remember strengthens item-context bindings in episodic memory, but such effects could be masked and not measurable in subsequent memory tests, unless intrusions are taken into account. We agree that in principle incidental encoding could induce optimal processing, but we do not find the existing evidence convincing. We provide additional novel data that directly addresses some of Craik's concerns (2023) and we propose ways to further investigate how intention enhances memory. We conclude with a joint statement, co-authored by Craik and ourselves, that synthesizes our converging perspectives and current understanding of the impact of intent on memory.

Abstract

In his commentary, Craik argued that while intentional remembering might be effective for some populations and memory tasks, these are the exception, and that intent will not benefit memory if incidental encoding already induces optimal processing. While we agree with many of his points, we maintain that in most situations the processes induced by the intention to remember are more effective than those induced by deep semantic processing alone. We show that rather than being an exception to the rule, effects of intent appear with a variety of tasks such as free recall, cued recall, source memory and item recognition, in both mixed and pure lists. Specifically, the intent to remember strengthens item-context bindings in episodic memory, but such effects could be masked and not measurable in subsequent memory tests, unless intrusions are taken into account. We agree that in principle incidental encoding could induce optimal processing, but we do not find the existing evidence convincing. We provide additional novel data that directly addresses some of Craik's concerns (2023) and we propose ways to further investigate how intention enhances memory. We conclude with a joint statement, co-authored by Craik and ourselves, that synthesizes our converging perspectives and current understanding of the impact of intent on memory.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:18 April 2023
Deposited On:09 May 2023 10:43
Last Modified:06 May 2024 15:54
Series Name:PsyArXiv Preprints
ISSN:0010-9452
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/gwd4s
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)