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What Is Adaptive about Adaptive Memory?$
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Bennett L. Schwartz, Mark L. Howe, Michael P. Toglia, and Henry Otgaar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199928057

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199928057.001.0001

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Survival Processing Does Not Improve Paired-Associate Learning

Survival Processing Does Not Improve Paired-Associate Learning

(p.159) 9 Survival Processing Does Not Improve Paired-Associate Learning
What Is Adaptive about Adaptive Memory?

Bennett L. Schwartz

Brock R. Brothers

Oxford University Press

Evaluating words for survival relevance leads to better free recall than many common encoding strategies (Nairne & Pandeirada, 2011). We addressed if survival processing advantages would generalize to paired-associate learning by asking participants to evaluate word pairs, either Swahili–English (e.g., duara–wheel) or Lithuanian–English (e.g., karalius–king) under survival processing instructions or other encoding instructions. In Experiment 1, recall did not vary across conditions. In Experiments 2, 3 and 4, pleasantness judgments led to improved cued recall relative to survival processing. Survival processing improves free recall of lists but not paired-associate learning. This suggests that the survival processing instructions promote relational learning among items but not associative learning within pairs.

Keywords:   Adaptive memory, survival processing, paired-associate learning, relational processing, encoding strategies

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