Self-Prioritization Reconsidered: Scrutinizing Three Claims

Colin Macrae, Marius Golubickis* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Such is the power of self-relevance, it has been argued that even arbitrary stimuli (e.g., shapes, lines, colors) with no prior personal connection are privileged during information processing following their association with the self (i.e., self-prioritization). This prioritization effect, moreover, is deemed to be stimulus driven (i.e., automatic), grounded in perception, and supported by specialized processing operations. Here, however, we scrutinize these claims and challenge this viewpoint. Although self-relevance unquestionably influences information processing, we contend that, at least at present, there is limited evidence to suggest that the prioritization of arbitrary self-related stimuli is compulsory, penetrates perception, and is underpinned by activity in a dedicated neural network. Rather, self-prioritization appears to be a task-dependent product of ordinary cognitive processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17456916221131273
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2022


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