Studies have shown the processing of information and memory is best stored when information is made relevant and important to the self. This theory is presented in Cunningham, Turk, MacDonald, and Macrae’s “Yours or Mine? Ownership and Memory” (2008). Cunningham et al. presented the idea of ‘self-reference effect’ in their article, stating words or other stimuli presented to participants will be easier to recall according to level of relevance to said participant. Another article founded on this theory is Symons and Blair’s “The Self-Reference Effect in Memory: A Meta-Analysis” (1997). Symons et al. reviewed participants and their propensity to “relate material to the self.” The following experiment performed is a replication of the classic experiment by Roger, Kuiper, and Kirker (1977) in which experimenters had participants process and categorize words quickly, later recalling as many words exhibited in the experiment as possible. This collection of articles each wanted to exhibit the phenomenon of self-reflected thought processes and further explains human memory. The initial hypothesis for this experiment is that the words that recalled personal experiences for the participant will be remembered best.
Participants for this experiment included 194 students at UCF who are enrolled in PSY 3213 Research Methods in Psychology, roughly ages 18-22.
Materials and Procedures
This experiment included the use of Dell Computers. Students sat at a personal desk and used Internet Explorer to log onto an online experiment website. The website used was www.materia.ucf.edu. Using the letter “k” for yes and “d” for no, students answered a series of four questions regarding a variety of words. The four questions included asking if the word on the screen means the same as the original word, if the word on the screen was comprised of all capitals, if the word on the screen sounded the same as the original word, or if the word on presented describes the participant.
There was a two second delay from when the question was asked and when the participant could answer. Following the experiment, a survey in which participants were not initially made aware of, asked them to recall...