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The effect of survival processing on memory for pictures depends on how memory is tested

Dewhurst, Stephen A, Anderson, Rachel J., O’Connor, Richard J. and Dean, Graham M. (2023) The effect of survival processing on memory for pictures depends on how memory is tested. Memory, 31 (4). pp. 502-508. ISSN 1464-0686

Item Type: Article


Two experiments investigated the effects of survival processing on memory for pictures of objects.
In experiment 1, participants were presented with 32 pictures of common objects and rated them
for their relevance to a survival scenario, a moving home scenario, or for pleasantness. In a surprise
recall test, participants in the survival condition recalled more of the verbal labels of the objects
than participants in the moving and pleasantness conditions. In experiment 2, participants
rated 64 pictures of objects in survival, moving home, or pleasantness conditions. Memory for
visual detail was assessed using a forced-choice recognition test in which participants had to
decide which of two highly similar pictures was the one they rated at study. In contrast to the
results of experiment 1, correct recognition scores were highest in the pleasantness condition
and lowest in the survival condition. This pattern suggests that survival processing enhances
memory for objects but not for precise visual detail. The findings are consistent with the view
that rating objects for their survival value directs attention to the potential uses of the objects.
They also emphasise the importance of the match between encoding and retrieval processes in
the survival processing paradigm.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: Survival processing; picture memory; transfer appropriate processing; elaborative encoding
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Depositing User: Graham Dean


Item ID: 16098
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ISSN: 1464-0686
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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 16:21
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 08:01


Author: Stephen A Dewhurst
Author: Rachel J. Anderson
Author: Richard J. O’Connor
Author: Graham M. Dean

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology


Psychology > Cognitive Behaviour

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