Remem­ber­ing What’s Mine: How the Own­er­ship Shop­ping Par­a­digm Went Online.

Tes­sa Clark­son, The Uni­ver­si­ty of Queensland


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The Self Ref­er­ence Effect (SRE) is the abil­i­ty to recall and recog­nise self-rel­e­vant stim­uli with greater accu­ra­cy than oth­er-rel­e­vant stim­uli. Own­er­ship is one estab­lished method of assign­ing ‘Self’- ver­sus ‘Oth­er’ rel­e­vance and hence influ­enc­ing recog­ni­tion mem­o­ry (Cun­ning­ham et al., 2008). Orig­i­nal­ly, this research began in a phys­i­cal set­ting. Since then, the ‘Shop­ping Task’ has become com­put­erised and mere own­er­ship over pic­ture stim­uli is har­nessed to mea­sure self-ref­er­ence effects. We sought to take the shop­ping task out of the lab, and onto the net, with the first iter­a­tion of the online shop­ping task. Many fac­tors mod­u­late the strength of the SRE by shift­ing the bound­ary between the ‘Self’ and ‘Oth­ers’.

In this study, we inves­ti­gat­ed whether enhanc­ing aware­ness of the ‘Self’ or the ‘Oth­er’ ref­er­ent changes the accu­ra­cy of recog­ni­tion of self-and oth­er-owned items. In exper­i­ment 1, par­tic­i­pants described their own hob­bies and traits. They were then informed about those of ‘Sam’, the ‘Oth­er’ ref­er­ent. An own­er­ship allo­ca­tion phase was fol­lowed by a mem­o­ry test. In exper­i­ment 2, no details of the ‘Oth­er’ were pro­vid­ed. Details of these results will be discussed.

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Remem­ber­ing What’s Mine: How the Own­er­ship Shop­ping Par­a­digm Went Online.