The social underpinnings of remembering to perform an action in the future (i.e., prospective memory, PM) have been recently shown to be an important feature of prospective memory functioning (Brandimonte, Ferrante, Bianco, & Villani, 2010). One emergent, though neglected, issue refers to the way people remember to do things with others and for others. In two experiments, participants were requested to collaborate or compete during an event-based PM task. In Experiment 1, they could also gain money for donation, while in Experiment 2 they could get personal earnings. Participants completed a parity judgment ongoing task and a PM task. Results revealed that a decrease in PM performance occurred with collaboration, as a result of responsibility sharing. In contrast, the pro-social nature of the PM task improved participants’ performance. Interestingly, pro-sociality prevented the detrimental effect of collaboration (experiments 1 and 2), while a personal gain did not contrast responsibility sharing (experiment 2). Surprisingly, competition did not significantly affect PM performance. Finally, an increase of the monitoring costs during the ongoing task was associated with pro-social goals. This pattern of result suggests that PM is influenced by social drives and points to a pivotal role of motivation in regulating conscious mechanisms underlying memory for intentions.
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