Kane, William E. (1983) Cognitive centrality and its relation to information processing. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The present study examined the personal constructs that people employ to construe behavior. It was hypothesized that personal constructs and the self-concept facilitate the processing of personally and socially relevant information. It was hypothesized that the more central a construct is, as measured by the Role Construct Repertory Grid (Kelly, 1955), the more efficient it would be in encoding information. To the extent that the 'self' is more central or elaborate than specific personal constructs, it was expected to be superior in processing information. -- The levels of processing paradigm (Craik & Lockhart, 1972) was employed. Subjects performed various operations on trait adjectives and the degree of elaboration produced in memory was inferred from the level of memory performance. In Experiment I, subjects performed five tasks with trait adjectives. These were: (1) a structural task; (2) a phonemic task; (3) a noncentral construct-reference task; (4) a central construct-reference task; and (5) a self-reference task. Incidental recall for the trait adjectives was assessed following a retention interval. The construct and self-reference tasks produced significantly higher recall than the structural or phonemic tasks. Recall for these two latter tasks was not significantly different. Recall for adjectives in the self-reference task was superior to recall for adjectives in the noncentral but not the central construct-reference task. There was no significant difference between recall for adjectives in the central and noncentral construct-reference tasks. -- The second experiment was similar to the first except that the phonemic task was excluded and recognition rather than free-recall was measured to asses memory performance. The construct and self-reference tasks produced superior recognition to the structural task. Recognition for the self-reference task was superior to that for both the central and noncentral construct-reference tasks. There was no significant difference in recognition level between the central and noncentral construct -reference tasks. -- The results of the two experiments converged to demonstrate that reference to personal constructs and the 'self' are efficient mnemonic strategies for processing the personally and socially relevant information. It was demonstrated that the 'self' is generally more efficient than specific personal constructs in processing relevant information. At the same time, reference to personal constructs was almost as effective as self-reference in facilitating the encoding of relevant information.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 43-48.|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Trait intercorrelations; Personality; Human information processing|
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