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Friday, September 8 • 2:40pm - 4:10pm
The Survival-Processing Effect on Memory: Survival Salience versus Planning

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The survival-processing effect refers to a benefit in memory performance for information encoded in a survival context. The effect emerges when survival processing is compared to a variety of other well-established memory effects. Nairne and colleagues’ (e.g., Nairne & Pandeirada, 2010) contend that survival acted as an important evolutionary pressure on memory and, as such, provides the optimal environment for the operation of memory. In contrast, others have suggested that the effect can be explained by the presence of planning that is inherent to the methodology. Across three experiments, survival processing of word stimuli was compared to two contextually rich encoding planning scenarios and a pleasantness processing task. Free recall and recognition memory were measured. A reliable advantage of grasslands­ survival processing appears to depend on the goal of survival having been cued. Results support Nairne’s claim that survival context is an important aspect of the survival processing effect.

avatar for Leisha Colyn

Leisha Colyn

Leisha Colyn obtained her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Bowling Green State University. She has used the lens of evolutionary theory to examine the role of envy and social status in schadenfreude among friends, the determinants of social status among college students, and the... Read More →

Friday September 8, 2017 2:40pm - 4:10pm PDT
225 Kane Hall