Effects of Foraging Related Stimuli on OLM (Object Location Memory) and Perceptual Search in the Hunter-Gatherer Theory
Journal article, Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Psychology Research 2014, 4(3):157-167
The hunter-gatherer theory suggests that a division of labor existed in early human settlements whereby men were predominantly hunters and women were predominantly gatherers. Support for this theory has come from the observation that females tend to perform better on tasks concerning object location memory, a skill required for successful gathering. We tested the hunter-gatherer theory through two experiments: (1) an OLM (object location memory) task where males and females were required to encode and recall the locations of animals, fruit, and neutral stimuli; and (2) a perceptual search task where males and females were required to search for either a fruit or an animal in an array of items. With OLM, we found the usual female advantage for neutral stimuli, but this difference was abolished with animal and fruit stimuli. The perceptual search task found no significant gender differences. These results therefore provide only partial support for the hunter gatherer theory.