Motivation and prediction-driven processing of social memoranda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Social semantic memory guides many aspects of behavior. Individuals rely on acquired and inferred knowledge about personal characteristics and group membership to predict the behavior and character of social targets. These predictions then determine the expectations from, the behavior in, and the interpretations of social interactions. According to predictive processing accounts, mnemonic and attentional mechanisms should enhance the processing of prediction-violating events. However, empirical findings suggest that prediction-consistent social events are often better remembered. This mini-review integrates recent evidence from social and non-social memory research to highlight the role of motivation in explaining these discrepancies. A particular emphasis is given to the continuous nature of prediction-(in)consistency, the epistemic tendency of perceivers to maintain or update their knowledge, and the dynamic influences of motivation on multiple steps in prediction-driven social memory. The suggested framework provides a coherent outlook of existing work and offers promising future directions to better understand the ebb and flow of social memoranda.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number105613
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • Congruency
  • Consistency
  • Epistemic
  • Memory
  • Predictive processing
  • Social
  • Stereotypes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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