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Does Survival Processing Increase Memory Accuracy?

November 23rd, 2014 2 comments

Have you ever been in a life or death experience? Walked across a bear in the woods? Almost been eaten by a tiger? Gotten in a car crash? Did you find your memory of this event to be clear and accurate, possibly almost like slow motion? Have you made that mistake again, or been more careful in similar settings? Recent studies have shown that the human memory system evolved to afford us a survival advantage (Nairne et al. 2008.) This functional analysis of memory explains that the purpose of memory is to remember the best way to survive. Humans need to accurately remember what situations pose a threat to them so they can successfully avoid those situations in the future.

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