DOI: 10.3390/bs14030233 ISSN: 2076-328X

The Effect of Time Monitoring on the Development of Time-Based Prospective Memory among Children Aged 7–11 Years Old

Yinya Wang, Zhi Ren, Yaqi Yue, Xi Zheng, Xinyuan Zhang, Lijuan Wang
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • General Psychology
  • Genetics
  • Development
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Time-based prospective memory (TBPM) refers to the ability of an individual to successfully execute an expected plan in the future at a certain time point or after a definite period of time. This study investigated the potential developmental mechanism of school-age children’s TBPM ability from the perspective of time monitoring. Experiment 1 used a between-subjects design of three ages (7, 9, 11) × two TBPM types (time point, time period) to investigate the trends and characteristics of two types of TBPM in children aged 7–11 years old. Experiment 2 used a between-subjects design of three ages (7, 9, 11) × two monitoring conditions (free monitoring, fixed monitoring) to investigate differences in two types of TBPM and monitoring behavior among school-age children under different monitoring conditions. These results showed that the age effect of TBPM was affected by the type of prospective memory (PM) and that time-point PM performance was significantly better than time-period PM performance among school-age children. These findings indicate that clear and definite external cues are helpful for school-age children in performing TBPM tasks. Moreover, there were significant differences found in the TBPM performance of school-age children under different time monitoring conditions. The performance of older children was significantly better than that of younger children. This indicates that older children can better allocate their attentional resources and use time monitoring strategies to improve their performance in PM tasks. Accordingly, this study showed that the TBPM ability of 7- to 11-year-old children is in continuous development and that the time monitoring behavior in the TBPM task is affected by task type and monitoring conditions.

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