FordLobao2018.pdf (357.22 kB)
Exploring individual differences in self-reference effects for agency and ownership in 5- to 7-year-olds
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 15:31 authored by Ruth M. Ford, Sheila N. Lobao
Evidence that self-relevant information enjoys a privileged status in memory is termed the self-reference effect (SRE). Testing 5-to 7-year-olds (n = 39), we aimed to shed light on the SRE by examining the memorial advantage for self-relevant information as a function of general ability, theory of mind, empathy, and recollection. Playing in pairs, children were presented with an array of pictures and took turns to select pictures (agency) and turn them over to reveal to whom they belonged (ownership). Later they viewed the studied pictures intermixed with new ones and provided recognition- and source memory judgments. There was a robust SRE in recognition memory, mainly for agency, which varied positively with intellectual ability but negatively with theory of mind, empathy and recollection. These findings accord with claims that self-referential information benefits from elaboration handled by domain-general processes, with the SRE counteracted by social processes that increase attention to other people.
Publication titleBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
- Accepted version