Are animacy effects in episodic memory independent of encoding instructions? - Archive ouverte HAL Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Memory Année : 2017

Are animacy effects in episodic memory independent of encoding instructions?


The adaptive view of human memory [Nairne, J. S. 2010. Adaptive memory: Evolutionary constraints on remembering. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 53 pp. 1-32). Burlington: Academic Press; Nairne, J. S., & Pandeirada, J. N. S. 2010a. Adaptive memory: Ancestral priorities and the mnemonic value of survival processing. Cognitive Psychology, 61, 1-22, 2010b; Memory functions. In The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science, (Vol 3, 4th ed. pp. 977-979). Hokoben, NJ: John Wiley & Sons] assumes that animates (e.g., baby, rabbit presented as words or pictures) are better remembered than inanimates (e.g., bottle, mountain) because animates are more important for fitness than inanimates. In four studies, we investigated whether the animacy effect in episodic memory (i.e., the better remembering of animates over inanimates) is independent of encoding instructions. Using both a factorial (Studies 1 and 3) and a multiple regression approach (Study 2), three studies tested whether certain contexts drive people to attend to inanimate more than to animate things (or the reverse), and therefore lead to differential animacy effects. The findings showed that animacy effects on recall performance were observed in the grassland-survival scenario used by Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada (2007. Adaptive memory: Survival processing enhances retention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 33, 263-273) (Studies 1-3), when words were rated for their pleasantness (Study 2), and in explicit learning (Study 3). In the non-survival scenario of moving to a foreign land (Studies 1-2), animacy effects on recall rates were not reliable in Study 1, but were significant in Study 2, whereas these effects were reliable in the non-survival scenario of planning a trip as a tour guide (Study 3). A final (control) study (Study 4) was conducted to test specifically whether animacy effects are related to the more organised nature of animates than inanimates. Overall, the findings suggest that animacy effects are robust since they do not vary across different sets of encoding instructions (e.g., encoding for survival, preparing a trip and pleasantness).
Fichier non déposé

Dates et versions

hal-01416278 , version 1 (14-12-2016)



Margaux Gelin, Aurélia Bugaiska, Alain Méot, Patrick Bonin. Are animacy effects in episodic memory independent of encoding instructions?. Memory, 2017, 25 (1), pp.2 - 18. ⟨10.1080/09658211.2015.1117643⟩. ⟨hal-01416278⟩
97 Consultations
0 Téléchargements



Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More