Parts of Me: Identity-Relevance Moderates Self-Prioritization

Marius Golubickis* (Corresponding Author), Johanna Falben, Nerissa Ho, Jie Sui, William A. Cunningham, C. Neil Macrae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Recent research has revealed a pervasive bias for self-relevant information during decision-making, a phenomenon termed the self-prioritization effect. Focusing almost exclusively on between-target (e.g., self vs. friend) differences in task performance, however, this work has overlooked the influence stimulus factors potentially exert during decisional processing. Accordingly, based on pertinent socialpsychological theorizing (i.e., Identity-Based Motivation Theory), here we explored the possibility that self-prioritization is sensitive to the identity-based relevance of stimuli. The results of three experiments supported this hypothesis. In a perceptual-matching task, stimulus enhancement was greatest when geometric shapes were associated with identity-related information that was important (vs. unimportant) to participants. In addition, hierarchical drift-diffusion modeling revealed this effect was underpinned by differences in the efficiency of visual processing. Specifically, evidence was extracted more rapidly from stimuli paired with consequential compared to inconsequential identityrelated components. These findings demonstrate how identity-relevance moderates self-prioritization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102848
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • self-prioritization
  • identity-relevance
  • perceptual matching
  • drift-diffusion model


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