Motivated self and recall: visual perspectives in remembering past behaviors



The present study examined motivational influences on visual perspectives in remembering past events and behaviors. Participants were first induced to believe that extraversion or introversion is conducive of success. Next, they recalled in details two introverted past behaviors. Introversion-success participants, presumably motivated to see themselves as introverted, recalled and visualized the behaviors more from a first-person actor perspective than did extraversion-success participants (who recalled the behaviors from a third-person observer perspective). Remembering past behaviors from a first-person actor perspective implies that the behaviors are true of the self and impacts self-definition to a relatively greater degree. The findings thus extend the influence of desired self to how people remember past events. They also contribute to the integration of motives in research on the link between self-inferences and the subjective experience of remembering. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.