An Evolutionary Perspective: The Mnemonic Dimensions of Animacy on Serial Position Curves
The ability to process one’s surroundings into the two categories of animate and inanimate is observed to develop at an early age. To differentiate these two categories of living and non-living things is important for survivability and reproduction. Little research has been conducted to examine the relationship between animacy and memory, adhering to this we attempt to narrow this gap. We conducted one study that begins to analyze animacy as a proposed mnemonic advantage, comparing this idea to other evident mnemonic advantages that contribute to that of a serial position curve. Using a free recall experiment, we compared the rate at which animate and inanimate stimuli were recalled. The study identifies that animate words are more likely to be recalled than that of inanimate words even when both categories are subjects to the primacy and recency effect and matched on mnemonic dimension. The study investigates memory as an evolutionary adaption.