Survival of the selfish

Contrasting self-referential and survival-based encoding

Sheila J. Cunningham* (Corresponding Author), Mirjam Brady-Van Den Bos, Lucy Gill, David J. Turk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Processing information in the context of personal survival scenarios elicits a memory advantage, relative to other rich encoding conditions such as self-referencing. However, previous research is unable to distinguish between the influence of survival and self-reference because personal survival is a self-referent encoding context. To resolve this issue, participants in the current study processed items in the context of their own survival and a familiar other person's survival, as well as in a semantic context. Recognition memory for the items revealed that personal survival elicited a memory advantage relative to semantic encoding, whereas other-survival did not. These findings reinforce suggestions that the survival effect is closely tied with self-referential encoding, ensuring that fitness information of potential importance to self is successfully retained in memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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Survival
Semantics
Encoding
Referential
Automatic Data Processing
Research

Keywords

  • Fitness value
  • Memory
  • Self
  • Self-reference effect
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Survival of the selfish : Contrasting self-referential and survival-based encoding. / Cunningham, Sheila J. (Corresponding Author); Brady-Van Den Bos, Mirjam; Gill, Lucy; Turk, David J.

In: Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 22, No. 1, 03.2013, p. 237-244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cunningham, Sheila J. ; Brady-Van Den Bos, Mirjam ; Gill, Lucy ; Turk, David J. / Survival of the selfish : Contrasting self-referential and survival-based encoding. In: Consciousness and Cognition. 2013 ; Vol. 22, No. 1. pp. 237-244.
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