When does money help you remember?

In a new article, Kou Murayama and Christof Kuhbandner write:

Money’s ability to enhance memory has received increased attention in recent research. However, previous studies have not directly addressed the time-dependent nature of monetary effects on memory, which are suggested to exist by research in cognitive neuroscience, and the possible detrimental effects of monetary rewards on learning interesting material, as indicated by studies in motivational psychology. By utilizing a trivia question paradigm, the current study incorporated these perspectives and examined the effect of monetary rewards on immediate and delayed memory performance for answers to uninteresting and interesting questions. Results showed that monetary rewards promote memory performance only after a delay. In addition, the memory enhancement effect of monetary rewards was only observed for uninteresting questions. These results are consistent with both the hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation model of reward learning and previous findings documenting the ineffectiveness of monetary rewards on tasks that have intrinsic value.

The pointer is from Michael Rosenwald, who recently published The Silent Season of a Hero: The Sports Writing of Gay Talese.


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