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Adaptive Memory: Survival Processing in Ancestral and Fictional Scenarios
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to examine the function behind adaptive memory by comparing groups of participants processing information in  ancestral and fictional  scenarios related to survival.  The  thesis  was  that  participants  would  retain  information  to  a  higher  extent  if processing  occurred  in  a  fictional,  threatening  scenario  compared  to  scenarios  based  on pleasantness  and survival  in  grasslands. There  were four different  scenarios,  whereas three acted as experimental and one as a control. The comparison was measured by the number of recalled words after a rating process which consisted of rating the relevance of words to survival in respective scenario. Seventy-one participants of differing age were recruited from different parts of the world through social media. They participated by completing a memory experiment on  The  results  showed  that  there  were  no  significant  differences  between groups and the number of rated words recalled. The thesis could therefore not be confirmed. No significant difference could be found in rating of the words in the different scenarios. Much research made on the topic of adaptive memory has suggested that participants remember better when processing information in scenarios described as threatening survival in grasslands and during a zombie outbreak. It seems that simple threat to survival does not increase the retention of information. The increased retention found in scenarios related to zombies may not be due to the popularity this subject has in film and games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 16 p.
Keyword [en]
adaptive memory, fictional scenarios, survival, recall, evolution
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-14042OAI: diva2:821863
Subject / course
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-15 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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