The self and recollective experience.

Conway, M. A. and Dewhurst, S. A. (1995) The self and recollective experience. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 9 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 0888-4080

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Three experiments investigated the hypothesis that self-reference at encoding increases the probability of recollective experience in recognition memory. In all three experiments separate groups of subjects studied words naming personality traits. One group judged the self-relevance of the traits, the other groups performed orientating tasks low in self-reference. In a recognition test subjects first identified old items and then indicated which of these were accompanied by recollective experience ('remember' responses) and which were recognized on some other basis ('know' responses). No reliable differences in overall recognition performance between self-referent and semantic encoding tasks were observed. However, subjects who encoded trait adjectives with reference to the self produced reliably more remember responses and few know responses than subjects who had encoded the items in the low self-referent tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrated a self-reference effect in recognition accompanied by recollective experience after 1-hour retention interval, while Experiment 2 found this effect to persist over a 24-hour retention interval. Experiment 3 demonstrated that this self-reference effect is obtained under incidental as well as under intentional learning conditions. Taken together these findings demonstrate the importance of self-reference as a factor in determining the likelihood that recognition judgements will be accompanied by recollective experience.

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Journal Article
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Applied Cognitive Psychology
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06 Nov 2008 16:40
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 03:48