Effects of self-focused attention on recognizing previously presented self-relevant and irrelevant stimuli
Vrana, Scott R.
PublisherHellenic Psychological Society
Place of publicationGreece
SourcePsychology: The Journal of the Hellenic Psychological Society
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Self-focused attention elevates individuals’ awareness of the self as an object and directs attentional resources toward it. It facilitates the performance of well learned tasks or the recall of information pertaining to the self, but undermines performance of difficult tasks especially among evaluatively anxious individuals. This study examines the effects of self-focused attention and evaluation on recognition memory of words varying in self-relevance, among normal individuals. Based on previous findings, it was hypothesized that the presence of self focus and evaluation would affect performance, in a positive direction since participants were normal and the task easy. An alternative hypothesis predicts that self-focus would enhance processing of self-relevant information only. Self-focus and evaluation led to greater recognition of distractor words, i.e. to more false alarms, indicating that both manipulations may induce performance pressure and may affect the strategy participants employ to achieve positive evaluation, rather than influencing information processing itself. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)