Women outperform men in remembering to remember

Liana Palermo*, Maria Cristina Cinelli, Laura Piccardi, Paola Ciurli, Chiara Incoccia, Laura Zompanti, Cecilia Guariglia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of gender differences in prospective memory (i.e., remembering to remember) has received modest attention in the literature. The few reported studies investigating either subjective or objective evaluations of prospective memory have shown inconsistent data. In this study, we aimed to verify the presence of gender differences during the performance of an objective prospective memory test by considering the weight of specific variables such as length of delay, type of response, and type of cue. We submitted a sample of 100 healthy Italian participants (50 men and 50 women) to a test expressly developed to assess prospective memory: The Memory for Intentions Screening Test. Women performed better than men in remembering to do an event-based task (i.e., prompted by an external event) and when the task required a physical response modality. We discuss the behavioural differences that emerged by considering the possible role of sociological, biological, neuroanatomical, and methodological variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date8 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • gender differences
  • memory for intentions
  • prospective memory


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