Publication Date

Fall 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Kevin P. Jordan.

Subject Areas

Psychology, Cognitive.


This thesis examined if prospective memory ability was selected for increased survival skills under a specific cognitive load level. Two-hundred seventy San Jose State University students under the age of 35 participated in this study that manipulated prospective memory type and cognitive load level and that employed a novel ratio scale measurement. Prospective memory performance was found to be more expeditious in the survival-based condition, F(1, 176) = 5.41, p=.02 and high cognitive load condition, F(1, 176) = 5.41, p=.02 for those that execute prospective memory tasks directly after recalling those tasks at the appropriate time. No difference was found in either the task type or cognitive load level for those whose prospective memory execution was delayed with respect to recall.