Self-reference effect on implicit and explicit memory tasks

Tetsuya Fujita, Takashi Horiuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Judging whether words refer to oneself results in better memory than judging words on a semantic or physical basis. This phenomenon is known as self-reference effect. It is assumed that people encode more attribute when they are engaged in self-referent processing than when they are engaged in other types of processing, but it is not clear what kinds of attributes are encoded. In this study, the performance patterns of three judgment types (self, semantic, and physical) were measured in two conditions: A perceptual implicit memory test (the word-stem completion condition) and a conceptual explicit memory test (the word-stem cued recall condition). The results showed that in the explicit condition, both the self-reference effect and the levels-of-processing effect were obtained, but in the implicit condition, all judgments produced the same memory performance. This finding suggests that self-referent judgment produces a perceptual encoding that is similar to a perceptual encoding in semantic or physical judgment, and, that self-referent judgment produces more semantic and conceptual encoding than semantic or physical judgment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-420
Number of pages7
JournalShinrigaku Kenkyu
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Implicit memory
  • Levels-of-processing
  • Memory
  • Self-reference effect
  • Word-stem completion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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