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ERIC Number: EJ911949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Adaptive Memory: Determining the Proximate Mechanisms Responsible for the Memorial Advantages of Survival Processing
Burns, Daniel J.; Burns, Sarah A.; Hwang, Ana J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n1 p206-218 Jan 2011
J. S. Nairne, S. R. Thompson, and J. N. S. Pandeirada (2007) suggested that our memory systems may have evolved to help us remember fitness-relevant information and showed that retention of words rated for their relevance to survival is superior to that of words encoded under other deep processing conditions. The authors present 4 experiments that uncover the proximate mechanisms likely responsible. The authors obtained a recall advantage for survival processing compared with conditions that promoted only item-specific processing or only relational processing. This effect was eliminated when control conditions encouraged both item-specific and relational processing. Data from separate measures of item-specific and relational processing generally were consistent with the view that the memorial advantage for survival processing results from the encoding of both types of processing. Although the present study suggests the proximate mechanisms for the effect, the authors argue that survival processing may be fundamentally different from other memory phenomena for which item-specific and relational processing differences have been implicated. (Contains 4 tables, 3 figures and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A