Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to explore the animacy advantage in memory, which has shown that words for animate objects are more likely to be remembered than words for inanimate objects. In the first experiment, participants processed words for animate and inanimate objects either shallowly (i.e., by indicating whether each word contained an “e”) or deeply (i.e., by rating the pleasantness of the items). In the second experiment, participants rated the relevance of the study items to either a moving scenario or to a grasslands survival scenario. As expected, in the first experiment the deep processing led to higher rates of recall, and in the second experiment the grasslands survival scenario led to higher rates of recall. In both experiments, animate words were recalled at a significantly higher rate than inanimate words regardless of processing condition. The data from these experiments provide more evidence for the animacy advantage in memory, which supports the adaptive memory view.

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