Northern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Religious Self-Concept and Word Recall

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

Research suggests that memory is enhanced for material that pertains to the self-concept. We hypothesized that this same effect would emerge for material that pertains to the religious concept. Participants viewed a set of 20 religious words. Some words were associated with a particular religious faith (Buddha, Bar Mitzvah, and Cross). Other words were more ambiguous and could be associated with several religious faiths (Worship, Spirit, and Prayer). For each word, participants answered a religious reference question (Does this word pertain to your religious view?). Participants then completed basic demographic questions, which served as a delay task. After this, all participants were given a surprise recall test for the 20 religious words shown to them earlier. Finally, participants completed several religious scales (Intrinsic/Extrinsic Religious Orientation, Quest, and Fundamentalism). Results indicated that participants recalled a significantly greater proportion of words that pertained to their religious concept (M = 0.65) than that did not pertain to their religious concept (M = 0.43), F(1, 51) = 45.90, p = .001. The size of this religious reference effect was not related to any of the religious scales.

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Religious Self-Concept and Word Recall

Research suggests that memory is enhanced for material that pertains to the self-concept. We hypothesized that this same effect would emerge for material that pertains to the religious concept. Participants viewed a set of 20 religious words. Some words were associated with a particular religious faith (Buddha, Bar Mitzvah, and Cross). Other words were more ambiguous and could be associated with several religious faiths (Worship, Spirit, and Prayer). For each word, participants answered a religious reference question (Does this word pertain to your religious view?). Participants then completed basic demographic questions, which served as a delay task. After this, all participants were given a surprise recall test for the 20 religious words shown to them earlier. Finally, participants completed several religious scales (Intrinsic/Extrinsic Religious Orientation, Quest, and Fundamentalism). Results indicated that participants recalled a significantly greater proportion of words that pertained to their religious concept (M = 0.65) than that did not pertain to their religious concept (M = 0.43), F(1, 51) = 45.90, p = .001. The size of this religious reference effect was not related to any of the religious scales.