Evaluating information with reference to self is associated with enhanced memory, the “self-reference effect”. The effect is found in recognition accompanied by recollective experience (remembering), but not in recognition based on a feeling of knowing. The current research employed an ownership procedure to investigate whether less evaluative forms of self-referential cognition produce similar enhancement of recollective experience. Participants were asked to sort items into baskets that belonged to themselves or a fictitious other. A subsequent remember–know recognition test showed that items encoded in the context of self-ownership were more likely to be correctly recognized than other-owned items. This ownership effect was found in remember, but not know, responses. This finding suggests that creating a self-referential encoding context leads to elaborative representations in episodic memory, even in the absence of explicit self-evaluation.
- recollective experience
- self-reference effect