Proximate mechanisms of the survival-processing advantage: Predicting memory from object and scenario-specific judgment parameters

Mark Nieuwenstein*, Lauren Hansen-Manguikian, Bugay Yildirim, Sally Ainsworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Judging whether an object is relevant for a scenario in which one is
stranded and in need of shelter, food, and water is a powerful mnemonic
compared to other encoding strategies. Here, we examine why such
survival-relevance judgments lead to better memory than relevance
judgments for a control scenario (i.e., a moving scenario). Using objects
that elicited high, low, or mixed relevance ratings in a previous study, we
compared how often survival and moving-relevance judgments would
change from a first, quick intuitive response to a second, deliberated
response. Results (N = 190) showed that survival-relevance judgments
more often changed from irrelevant to relevant than moving-relevance
judgments, but only for objects that received mixed ratings in our
previous study. In our next study (, we will test the
hypothesis that the possibility and likelihood of a change of judgment
predict which objects underlie the finding of enhanced memory following
survival-relevance judgments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event62nd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society - Online
Duration: 4-Nov-20217-Nov-2021


Conference62nd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
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