Cue-based reminders to remember tasks


WEB DESK: Forget to pay the electricity bill?? Or clothes in the dryer?? Or missed an important event?? There are a lot of things like this which we want to do, though that are very important but we forget.

Researchers’ says, “Cue-based reminders can offer a no-cost, low-effort strategy to help people remember to complete the tasks that tend to fall through the cracks in daily life.”

Linking these routine tasks to distinctive cues that we’ll encounter at the right place and the right time may help us remember to follow through, new research suggests.

Explaining the ‘Cue Based Reminders’, Psychological Scientist Todd Rogers from Harvard Kennedy School says, “People are more likely to follow through on their good intentions if they are reminded to do so by noticeable cues that appear at the exact place and time in which a follow-through can occur”,

Rogers and Co-Author Katherine Milkman from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania hypothesized that ‘reminders through association’ may be a tool for remembering and following through.

The cue based reminders are designed independent of any use of technology. They are dependent on human mind and get delivered when we exactly need them.

Data collected from customers at a coffee shop suggest that the ‘reminders through association’ approach may also be useful for organizations that want to help their clients remember to follow through on intentions.

- File Photo

– File Photo

Over the course of one business day, 500 customers were given a coupon that would be valid at the coffee shop two days later. Only some customers were told that a stuffed alien would be sitting near the cash register to remind them to use their coupon.

About 24 percent of the customers who were given a cue remembered to use their coupon compared to only 17 percent of the customers who received no cue – a 40 percent increase in coupon usage.

Rogers and Milkman hope to build on this research to explore whether reminders through association might also be useful for boosting adherence to medical and other health-related regimens.

The research was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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