Survival of the selfish: contrasting self-referential and survival-based encoding

Sheila J. Cunningham, Mirjam Brady-Van den Bos, Lucy Gill, David J. Turk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)
229 Downloads (Pure)

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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Survival of the selfish: contrasting self-referential and survival-based encoding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this