Remembering the place with the tiger: Survival processing can enhance source memory
Rating the relevance of words for survival in the grasslands of a foreign land often leads to a memory advantage. However, it is as yet unclear whether the survival processing effect generalizes to source memory. Here, we examined whether people have enhanced source memory for the survival context in which an item has been encountered. Participants were asked to make survival-based or moving-based decisions about items prior to a classical source memory test. A multinomial model was used to measure old–new discrimination, source memory, and guessing biases separately. We replicated the finding of a survival advantage in old–new recognition. Extending previous results, we also found a survival-processing advantage in source memory. These results are in line with the richness-of-encoding explanation of the survival processing advantage and with an adaptive perspective on memory.
KeywordsSource memory Recognition Evolution Survival processing effect
- Buchner, A., Bell, R., Mehl, B., & Musch, J. (2009). No enhanced recognition memory, but better source memory for faces of cheaters. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 212-224.Google Scholar
- Burns, D. J., Burns, S. A., & Hwang, A. J. (2011). Adaptive memory: Determining the proximate mechanisms responsible for the memorial advantages of survival processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 206–218. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021325 PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Erdfelder, E., & Kroneisen, M. (2014). Proximate cognitive mechanisms underlying the survival processing effect. In B. L. Schwartz, M. Howe, M. Toglia, & H. Otgaar (Eds.), What is adaptive about adaptive memory? (pp. 172–198). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kuhlmann, B. G., Vaterrodt, B., & Bayen, U. J. (2012). Schema bias in source monitoring varies with encoding conditions: Support for a probability-matching account. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 1365–1376. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0028147 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aac4716