Presentation on theme: "‘It’s Mine!’ Children’s memory bias for self-owned items Sheila Cunningham David Turk Neil Macrae Project funded by the European Research Council UNIVERSITY."— Presentation transcript:
‘It’s Mine!’ Children’s memory bias for self-owned items Sheila Cunningham David Turk Neil Macrae Project funded by the European Research Council UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
Ownership Why study ownership in children? Owned objects are part of children’s self concept.
Self-development Early patterns of self-development (Lewis, 1991) : Neonatal: ‘implicit consciousness’ 18 months: ‘idea of me’ (self-recognition, use of personal pronouns, ‘Mine!’) 3-4 years: show self-conscious emotions, an awareness of others BUT egocentric processing still dominates. By 10 years: abstract self construct
‘Self-memory effects’: better memory for self-relevant than other-relevant information ‘Self Reference Effect in memory’ ( Rogers et al., 1977) Trait recognition memory shows self-memory bias. ‘Are you creative?’ ‘Is Brad Pitt modest?’ v. The Self and cognition
Self reference effect Underlying mechanisms: self is well-organised and elaborate construct, leads to rich encoding (Klein & Loftus, 1988. Symons & Johnston, 1997). self-relevant cues lead to enhanced encoding (affect/attentional responses) (Cunningham et al., 2008; Turk, et al., 2008)
Self reference effect Difficult to apply standard paradigm to children, who lack reading ability and an abstract self construct. Age at which SRE emerges currently unclear e.g., 7 years (Pullyblank et al., 1982) 10 years (Halpin et al., 1984; Ray et al., 2009)
Children’s self-memory effects Would children show self-memory effects? Perhaps – young children are highly egocentric …but do not have mature, elaborate self-concept.
Current study: using ownership to study self- memory effects. Why? young children have highly developed understanding of ownership and concrete objects (Furby, 1980) Ownership elicits self-memory effects in adults (Cunningham et al., 2008) Children’s self-memory effects
54 children (aged 4-6) were tested in pairs. Children were then separated and given surprise recognition memory test. In separate session, children completed the BPVS. Children took turns to sort 56 picture cards into self-owned and other- owned baskets. Ownership experiment
Memory data was transformed into A’ scores to account for different levels of response bias. Analysis of memory data revealed significantly better memory for owned objects (F(1,53) = 8.08, p <.01). Children grouped into four verbal age categories: 3-4 yrs (N=9) 5 yrs (N=17) 6 yrs (N=12) 7-8 yrs (N=18) Results
Ownership effect x Verbal age: (F(1,53) = 2.84, p <.05).
Conclusions: Ownership Young children can show self memory effects. What operations underlie the ownership effect? e.g., affect and attention (implicit system) elaboration by self-knowledge (explicit system) How do these self systems change across development?
Ownership effect is especially large in children with VA of 3-4 years. Changing ownership effect might be due to changes in: egocentrism encoding ability Need additional data to check reliability of effect and answer these questions. Conclusions: Verbal age
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