Mine to remember: The impact of ownership on recollective experience

Mirjam van den Bos*, Sheila J. Cunningham, Martin A. Conway, David J. Turk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Evaluating information with reference to self is associated with enhanced memory, the "self-reference effect". The effect is found in recognition accompanied by recollective experience (remembering), but not in recognition based on a feeling of knowing. The current research employed an ownership procedure to investigate whether less evaluative forms of self-referential cognition produce similar enhancement of recollective experience. Participants were asked to sort items into baskets that belonged to themselves or a fictitious other. A subsequent remember-know recognition test showed that items encoded in the context of self-ownership were more likely to be correctly recognized than other-owned items. This ownership effect was found in remember, but not know, responses. This finding suggests that creating a self-referential encoding context leads to elaborative representations in episodic memory, even in the absence of explicit self-evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1071
Number of pages7
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science


  • Ownership
  • Recollective experience
  • Remember-know
  • Self
  • Self-reference effect

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