Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Matthew Reysen

Relational Format



Prior experiments (e.g., Nairne, Pandeirada, Thompson, 2008) have demonstrated that considering information with respect to one’s survival improves recall performance relative to other well-known deep processing tasks. In the present experiment, we sought to determine whether creating stories might lead to similarly high levels of recall performance. To determine this, participants were assigned to either a survival, pleasantness, or story creation condition and were asked to consider 20 common nouns with respect to one of those three sets of instructions. After performing one of these tasks, participants were asked to complete a brief distractor task followed by a free recall test. The results indicated that participants’ free recall performance was best in the story creation condition, intermediate in the survival processing condition, and worst in the pleasantness processing condition. Overall, these results suggest that creating stories may represent a particularly effective approach for remembering information.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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