Memory & Cognition

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 913–919 | Cite as

Can the survival recall advantage be explained by basic memory processes?

  • Yana WeinsteinEmail author
  • Julie M. Bugg
  • Henry L. Roediger


Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada (2007) demonstrated a striking phenomenon: Words rated for relevance to a grasslands survival scenario were remembered better than identical words encoded under other deep processing conditions. Having replicated this effect using a novel set of words (Experiment 1), we contrasted the schematic processing and evolutionary accounts of the recall advantage (Experiment 2). Inconsistent with the schematic processing account, the grasslands survival scenario produced better recall than did a city survival scenario requiring comparable schematic processing. Recall in the grasslands scenario was unaffected by a self-reference manipulation. The findings are consistent with an evolutionary account that attributes the recall advantage to adaptive memory biases.


Inal Interaction Survival Scenario Foreign Land Recall Advantage Part Icipants 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yana Weinstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julie M. Bugg
    • 2
  • Henry L. Roediger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonEngland
  2. 2.Washington UniversitySt. Louis

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