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Mating Cues and Declarative Memory

Title: Mating Cues and Declarative Memory: Signaling the Presence of Desirable Mental Skills.
Name(s): Baker, Michael D., Jr, author
Maner, Jon, professor directing dissertation
Marlowe, Frank, university representative
Kelley, Colleen, committee member
Plant, Ashby, committee member
Kaschak, Mike, committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Theories of sexual selection suggest that people often engage in motivated social signaling (i.e., strategically signaling desired characteristics to others). For example, those who are motivated to find a mate are likely to display characteristics that are desired by potential mates. Results from two preliminary studies provide evidence that mating motives lead people to display enhanced memory retrieval – a skill that could be used to broadcast the presence of desirable mental traits. In an attempt to replicate those findings, a new experiment was conducted in which mating-related concepts were primed and subsequent performance on declarative memory for images (basic recognition) and the locations in which they were displayed (associative memory) was measured. A second phase of testing measured the amount of effort exerted by participants when completing the initial memory test. Results revealed an effect in the opposite direction of that seen in the preliminary studies, such that participants who were exposed to a semantic mating prime displayed decreased memory for neutral images seen earlier in the experiment. Possible explanations for this reversal are discussed, focusing on the cognitively depleting nature of the manipulation used in the current study. Proposed future directions center on ways to design a critical test to determine the circumstances under which mating primes can improve or hurt memory performance.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0977 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: July 2, 2010.
Keywords: Mating, Cognition, Sexual Selection, Signaling, Evolutionary Psychology, Motivation, Memory
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Jon Maner, Professor Directing Dissertation; Frank Marlowe, University Representative; Colleen Kelley, Committee Member; Ashby Plant, Committee Member; Mike Kaschak, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Baker, M. D. (2010). Mating Cues and Declarative Memory: Signaling the Presence of Desirable Mental Skills. Retrieved from