Symbol/Meaning paired-associate recall: an "archetypal memory" advantage? Academic Article uri icon


  • The theory of the archetypes and the hypothesis of the collective unconscious are two of the central characteristics of analytical psychology. These provoke, however, varying reactions among academic psychologists. Empirical studies which test these hypotheses are rare. Rosen, Smith, Huston and Gonzales proposed a cognitive psychological experimental paradigm to investigate the nature of archetypes and the collective unconscious as archetypal (evolutionary) memory. In this article we report the results of a cross-cultural replication of Rosen et al. conducted in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. In short, this experiment corroborated previous findings by Rosen et al., based on English speakers, and demonstrated a recall advantage for archetypal symbol meaning pairs vs. other symbol/meaning pairings. The fact that the same pattern of results was observed across two different cultures and languages makes it less likely that they are attributable to a specific cultural or linguistic context.

published proceedings

  • Behav Sci (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Sotirova-Kohli, M., Opwis, K., Roesler, C., Smith, S. M., Rosen, D. H., Vaid, J., & Djonov, V.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Sotirova-Kohli, Milena||Opwis, Klaus||Roesler, Christian||Smith, Steven M||Rosen, David H||Vaid, Jyotsna||Djonov, Valentin

publication date

  • December 2013