The Role of Temporal and Spatial Information Cues in Locating Missing Persons

Kara N. Moore, James M. Lampinen, Andrew C. Provenzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Prospective person memory refers to the search for a missing or wanted person. Performance on prospective person memory tasks has been found to be poor in field-based experiments. Prior research suggests that the size of the search space may influence success on prospective person memory tasks. In the present research, we gave participants randomly assigned temporal and spatial cues about a mock missing person's whereabouts. Participants were offered a monetary reward for accurately reporting seeing the missing person. Participants who were told the missing person would appear in the building, where they were, had higher expectations of encountering the missing person and made more sightings than participants told the missing person would appear on the university campus. Expectations of encounter predicted participants' intent to look for the missing person, which predicted actual looking behavior, which ultimately predicted accurate sightings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-525
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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