Social Transmission of Memory

Social Memory & Cognition Lab  Ι  Department of Psychology


For additional details regarding this project, please see the project page.

This project investigates the social transmission of memory in small groups and large social networks. The goal is to understand how memories propagate, how such transmission shapes the memories shared among individuals, and information transmission as a basis for understanding how social influences shape behavior. Our recent work shows that as group structure changes, memory transmission changes across group members (Choi, Blumen, Congleton, & Rajaram, 2014), and as social networks increase in size the structure of the network becomes increasingly complex. This project employs a combination of behavioral experiments and agent-based computational simulations to explore information transmission and its consequences across the scale from small groups to large networks. 

Publications and Presentations

Journal Articles

  • Choi, H.-Y.*, Kensinger, E.A., & Rajaram, S. (in press). Mnemonic transmission, social contagion, and emergence of collective memory: Influence of emotional valence, group structure, and information distribution.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
  • Luhmann, C. C., & Rajaram, S. (2015). Memory transmission in small groups and large networks: An agent-based model. Psychological ScienceView
  • Barber, S. J., Harris, C. B., & Rajaram, S. (2015). Why two heads apart are better than two heads together: Multiple mechanisms underlie the collaborative inhibition effect in memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition,41, 559-566. View
  • Blumen, H. M., Young, K. E., & Rajaram, S. (2014). Optimizing group collaboration to maximize later individual retention. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 3, 244-251. View
  • Choi, H.-Y., Blumen, H. M., Congleton, A. R., & Rajaram, S. (2014) The role of group configuration in the social transmission of memory: Evidence from identical and reconfigured groups. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26, 65-80. View
  • Congleton, A.R., & Rajaram, S. (2014). Collaboration changes both the content and the structure of memory: Building the architecture of shared representations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 1570-1584. View

Conference Proceedings

  • Luhmann, C. C., & Rajaram, S. (2013). Mnemonic diffusion: An agent-based modeling investigation of collective memory. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 936-941). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Keynote/Invited Talks

  • Luhmann, C. C. (January, 2015). Social Interactions as Dynamic Learning Environments. Cognitive Brownbag, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
  • Luhmann, C. C. (December, 2014). Adaptive Learning During Strategic Interactions. Presentation at the Stony Brook Center for Behavioral Political Economy, Stony Brook, NY.
  • Rajaram, S. (March, 2014). Memory in a Social Context: How does Collaboration Shape Memory? Keynote address, The North Carolina Cognition Group Conference, Durham, NC.
  • Rajaram, S. (June, 2014). Social Transmission of Memory. Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Rajaram, S. (October, 2015). Social Transmission of Memory: Learning and Remembering in Groups. Invited Departmental Colloquium, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Conference Presentations

  • Bixter, M. T., Johnson, K. L., Rajaram, S., & Luhmann, C. C. (November, 2015). Socially Transmitted Memory Biases: Influences on Decision Making. Talk presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.
  • Congleton, A., & Rajaram, S. (July, 2015). The Influence of Collaborative Remembering on Varieties of Memory. Paper presented in S. Rajaram & W. Hirst (Organizers), Symposium held at the 11th Annual Conference of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Victoria, Canada.
  • Luhmann, C. C. & Rajaram, S. (2013, November). Social Transmission of Memory: An Agent-Based Modeling Investigation. Poster presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Toronto, Canada.
  • Luhmann, C. C., & Rajaram, S. (2013, August). Mnemonic Diffusion: An Agent-Based Modeling Investigation of Collective Memory. Presentation at the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Berlin, Germany.