The Survival Processing Memory Effect Should Generalise to Source Memory, but It Doesn’t
Arndt Bröder, Nelli Krüger, Susanne Schütte
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2011.29135   PDF    HTML     6,154 Downloads   11,094 Views   Citations


Numerous studies have shown that words judged for their relvance to a scenario of survival are remembered better than words from lists processed differently. Survival processing is even more effective than many mnemonic techniques. This has been interpreted as an evolutionary design feature of memory. It is argued that such a survival effect should be even more pronounced in remembering the context or source of the information. Two experiments used a source monitoring paradigm. Both studies did not find any evidence for enhanced context memory, thus questioning the evolutionary account of the survival processing effect. An alternative interpretation is discussed.

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Bröder, A. , Krüger, N. & Schütte, S. (2011). The Survival Processing Memory Effect Should Generalise to Source Memory, but It Doesn’t. Psychology, 2, 896-901. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.29135.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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