Recent research has suggested that our memory systems have evolved to prioritize processing information that enhances our fitness (e.g., location of food, distance of predators). In a provocative line of research, a number of studies have shown that people who merely think about survival demonstrate enhanced recall for word lists compared to those in control conditions who think about non-survival topics (e.g., Kang, McDermott, & Cohen, 2008; Nairne, Thompson, & Pandeirada, 2007; Weinstein, Bugg, & Roediger III; 2008). Researchers have attributed this to an evolved sensitivity to fitness-relevant content, which enhances attention and memory processes when prompted to think about survival contexts. More recent research has suggested cognitive explanations rather than evolutionary motives, such as encoding stimuli in ways that are congruent with the context, explain these effects (Butler, Kang, & Roediger III, 2009). To date, nearly all tests of the survival processing advantage have been conducted in non-social domains involving word lists and no study has assessed the functional value of the survival processing advantage for outcomes other than memory, such as judgments and decisions. Given the proximal role of social information in modern and ancestral life, this dissertation tested between evolutionary and cognitive explanations (i.e., a congruency-incongruency account) of the survival processing advantage for social memory and judgments/decisions. After establishing the appropriateness of stimuli in a pilot study, participants in the main study were randomly assigned to read one of two scenarios: a survival scenario where participants imagined being stranded in foreign grasslands or a non-survival scenario where they imagined leading the robbery of a well-guarded bank. As part of the task, participants were told that they needed to connect with other social groups to assist in meeting the scenario goal, wherein information about four social groups were presented. Critically, the groups possessed different numbers of characteristics that were congruent or incongruent with survival and leading a robbery. The main dependent measures were recall and recognition of the group characteristics and the accuracy of participants’ decisions and judgments about the groups (e.g., whether they decided to join the group possessing the most goal-relevant traits). Overall, the results more clearly supported the congruency-incongruency account than the survival processing account. First, participants recalled social traits best when the traits were congruent with the scenario context, regardless of whether it was a survival or robbery context. However, recognition did not differ as a function of condition or trait type. Second, participants in the robbery and survival conditions chose the “correct” group at equivalent and greater-than-chance levels and judged groups with the most goal-relevant traits more favorably than groups with the least goal-relevant traits. This latter set of results suggests that participants used the scenario context in a functional way to guide their judgments and decisions. Implications for several different research literatures are discussed.