Self-Consciousness And Modes Of Processing Information Regarding Self And Others

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




This investigation examined a series of hypotheses regarding the processing of information about self and others. These hypotheses addressed the potential effects of (a) the mode in which information is processed, (b) individual differences in chronic attentional focus as measured by the Self-Consciousness Scale, and (c) the type of information presented for processing. To examine these hypotheses, an incidental-learning paradigm was used through which previous researchers had found that self-referenced adjectives were generally remembered more than other-referenced adjectives (a finding termed the "self-reference effect"). Subjects were 205 students enrolled in psychology classes. The most basic finding was a successful replication of the self-reference effect where self-referenced adjectives were recalled better than other-referenced adjectives. However, the self-reference effect was limited to material encoded in semantic form; for material encoded using images, other-referenced recall was equal to self-referenced recall. Recall of other-referenced material was greater for individuals high in public self-consciousness compared to those low in public self-consciousness. For males, recall of self-referenced adjectives was greater than recall of mother-referenced adjectives; for females, recall of mother-referenced adjectives was equal to recall of self-referenced adjectives. Implications for the processing of social information are discussed.


Psychology, Social

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