Title

Intentional memory and online data collection: A test of the effects of animacy and threat on episodic memory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2-2019

Abstract

As research in the behavioural sciences increasingly relies on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) for recruiting participants, it is an empirical question whether an intentional memory experiment could be conducted online and whether performance of MTurk participants and college students would be comparable. College students and MTurk participants viewed threatening and nonthreatening items that were animate or inanimate and completed a recall test. Recent research indicates that human memory systems evolved to prioritise survival-relevant information, including animacy of items. The results of both studies indicated that participants recalled more animate than inanimate items and recalled more threatening items than nonthreatening items. The results indicate that it is possible to conduct memory experiments online and that results match patterns found in laboratory studies of the animacy effect (Nairne, VanArsdall, Pandeirada, Cogdill, & LeBreton, 2013), but that researchers should include safeguards to ensure the online participants are attending to and following directions.

Publication Title

Journal of Cognitive Psychology

Volume

31

Issue

1

First Page

4

Last Page

15

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/20445911.2018.1564756

ISSN

20445911

E-ISSN

2044592X

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