Memory & Complex Learning Lab - Mark McDaniel

Cognition and Education

Our work on cognition and education has focused on various domains of cognitive psychology that have strong educational and instructional implications. Enumerated below are several lines of current research – Study Strategies, Category Learning, Test-enhanced Learning, and Individual Differences – aimed at informing educators and students alike how they can improve their own teaching and learning.

Prospective Memory

Prospective memory is remembering to perform delayed intentions at an appropriate time or event in the future. Examples of prospective memory include: remembering to take medicine at night before going to bed, remembering to deliver a message to a friend, and remembering to pick up flowers for a significant other on an anniversary. Because a great deal of each day is spent forming intentions and acting on those intentions, it is no surprise that at least half of everyday forgetting is due to prospective memory failures (Crovitz & Daniel, 1984). 

We are currently working on several lines of research in the lab, with the overarching theme of trying to better understand the underlying mechanisms of prospective memory, how those mechanisms play out in the real world, and how we can take that knowledge to improve people’s ability to perform intended actions.

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