Distinguishing between the self-descriptive task and the autobiographical retrieval task: Evidence from the conceptually-driven test on the implicit instruction

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Klein and Loftus (1993) claimed that both trait-descriptive and autobiographical information about the self is available in memory, and that each can be addressed independently (the former is in the semantic memory system, the later is in the episodic memory system). In order to examine the validity of their claim, the conceptually-driven test on the implicit instruction was used. In Experiment 1, the self-descriptive task ("Does this word describe you?") produced better performance than the semantic task. However, in Experiment 2, there was no difference in performance between the autobiographical task ("Can you access a personal experience?") and the semantic task. These results were discussed in terms of a principle of transfer-appropriate processing, and it was interpreted that the difference in the results of the two experiments should support Klein and Loftus's (1993) claim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalShinrigaku Kenkyu
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Autobiographical retrieval task
  • Conceptually-driven test
  • Implicit memory
  • Self-descriptive task
  • Self-reference effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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