Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Daniel Burns




memory, survival, retention, disgust, processing


Recently, researchers have found that survival processing enhances retention. This led the authors to speculate that our memory systems have been fine tuned to remember survival relevant information. One question that might be asked is what is it about thinking about one’s survival that aids memory? As an extension of my previous research, this project examines the extent to which death and disgust influence recall in survival processing scenarios, determining whether or not death and disgust play a role in the memory enhancement associated with survival processing scenarios. There are four conditions in this study differing in the amount of death and disgust involved in each of the scenarios. The results of the study showed that there was no difference in retention between the four conditions, including the control condition. While a manipulation check determined that death and disgust was adequately manipulated, the recall results showed no effect of death and disgust on memory. This leads me to tentatively conclude that death and disgust is not one of the mechanisms responsible for the memory improvement seen in survival research.