Selfish learning: the impact of self-referential encoding on children's literacy attainment

David J. Turk, Karri Gillespie-Smith, Olave E. Krigolson, Catriona Havard, Martin A. Conway, Sheila J. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Self-referencing (i.e., thinking about oneself during encoding) can increase attention toward to-be-encoded material, and support memory for information in adults and children. The current inquiry tested an educational application of this 'self reference effect' (SRE) on memory. A selfreferential modification of literacy tasks (vocabulary spelling) was tested in two experiments. In Experiment 1, seven- to nine-year-old children (N = 47) were asked to learn the spelling of four nonsense words by copying the vocabulary and generating sentences. Half of the children were asked to include themselves as a subject in each sentence. Results showed that children in this self-referent condition produced longer sentences and increased spelling accuracy by more than 20%, relative to those in an other-referent condition. Experiment 2 (N = 32) replicated this pattern in real-word learning. These findings demonstrate the significant potential advantages of utilizing self-referential encoding in the classroom.
LanguageEnglish
Pages54-60
Number of pages7
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume40
Early online date27 Aug 2015
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015

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Turk, David J. ; Gillespie-Smith, Karri ; Krigolson, Olave E. ; Havard, Catriona ; Conway, Martin A. ; Cunningham, Sheila J./ Selfish learning : the impact of self-referential encoding on children's literacy attainment. In: Learning and Instruction. 2015 ; Vol. 40. pp. 54-60
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Selfish learning : the impact of self-referential encoding on children's literacy attainment. / Turk, David J.; Gillespie-Smith, Karri; Krigolson, Olave E.; Havard, Catriona; Conway, Martin A.; Cunningham, Sheila J.

In: Learning and Instruction, Vol. 40, 12.2015, p. 54-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Turk,David J.

AU - Gillespie-Smith,Karri

AU - Krigolson,Olave E.

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AU - Cunningham,Sheila J.

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