Publication Date

April 2019


Kyungmi Kim




English (United States)


Co-presenting an item with self-relevant vs. other-relevant information at encoding can produce a self-memory advantage in the absence of any task demand to process the item’s self-relevancy. The present study examined (a) whether this “incidental” self-memory advantage would extend beyond highly self-relevant information such as one’s own name to include information relevant to one’s family member, specifically one’s mother, and (b) if and to what extend individualistic vs. collectivistic cultures differentially affect the magnitude of the potential mother-memory advantage. During encoding, American and Moroccan participants were presented their own name, their mother’s name, or another person’s name simultaneously with the to-be-processed target words to which they made location judgments in relation to the name in the middle. In a subsequent memory test, we found that both Moroccan and American participants showed a significant memory advantage for target words and their associated source feature (i.e., the name each word was presented with at encoding) that were presented with their own name or their mother’s name compared with those presented with another person’s name. There was no significant effect of culture on the magnitude of a mother-memory advantage. Our findings provide evidence for the presence of an incidental mother-reference effect and further suggest that future studies are necessary to fully determine the effect of culture on the emergence of this incidental mother-memory advantage.



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