Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Episodic Memory

  • Victoria L. Templer
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3129-1



Memory of personal past events, including the what, where, and when aspects of the event that can be explicitly accessed. In addition to these content-based aspects of a remembered experience, information about the event is integrated in a single representation and can be flexibly used to support adaptive behavior.


When Endel Tulving distinguished episodic memory (EM from here on) from semantic memory (Tulving 1972), a crucial framework for psychological studies on EM was established. Semantic memory, or knowledge or facts about the world, is unlike EM because it does not include experiential properties or sensory information related to the occasion on which information was learned. Semantic memory, like the fact that Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts, is unlinked to the occasion on which this piece of information was learned. Such facts that are simply known...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Providence CollegeProvidenceUSA