Self-relevance enhances evidence gathering during decision-making

Johanna K. Falben* (Corresponding Author), Marius Golubickis, Skomantas Tamulaitis, Siobhan Caughey, Dimitra Tsamadi, Linn M. Persson, Saga L. Svensson, Arash Sahraie, C. N. Macrae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite repeated demonstrations that self-relevant material is prioritized during stimulus appraisal, a number of unresolved issues remain. In particular, it is unclear if self-relevance facilitates task performance when stimuli are encountered under challenging processing conditions. To explore this issue, using a backward masking procedure, here participants were required to report if briefly presented objects (pencils and pens) had previously been assigned to the self or a best friend (i.e., object-ownership task). The results yielded a standard self-ownership effect, such that responses were faster and more accurate to self-owned (vs. friend-owned) objects. In addition, a drift diffusion model analysis indicated that this effect was underpinned by a stimulus bias. Specifically, evidence was accumulated more rapidly from self-owned compared to friend-owned stimuli. These findings further elucidate the extent and origin of self-prioritization during decisional processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103122
Pages (from-to)103122
Number of pages7
JournalActa Psychologica
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2020


  • self-prioritization
  • ownership
  • self-relevance
  • evidence accumulation
  • drift diffusion model
  • Evidence accumulation
  • Drift diffusion model
  • Ownership
  • Self-relevance
  • Self-prioritization

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    Falben, J. K., Golubickis, M., Tamulaitis, S., Caughey, S., Tsamadi, D., Persson, L. M., Svensson, S. L., Sahraie, A., & Macrae, C. N. (2020). Self-relevance enhances evidence gathering during decision-making. Acta Psychologica, 209, 103122. [103122].