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Self-Reference Effect

Definition

The self-reference effect refers to people's tendency to better remember information when that information has been linked to the self than when it has not been linked to the self. In research on the selfReference effect, people are presented with a list of adjectives (e.g., intelligent, shy) and are asked to judge each word given a particular instruction. Some people are told to decide whether each word describes them. In this case, people make a decision about each word in relation to their knowledge of themselves—a self-referent comparison. Other people are instructed to decide whether each word is long—a nonself-referent comparison that requires making a decision about each word that does not use information about the self. According to the self-reference effect, if people are ...

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