Self-Prioritization Reconsidered: Scrutinizing Three Claims

Marius Golubickis* (Corresponding Author), Colin Macrae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Such is the power of self-relevance, it has been argued that even arbitrary stimuli (e.g., shapes, lines, colors) with no prior personal connection are privileged during information processing following their association with the self (i.e., self-prioritization). This prioritization effect, moreover, is deemed to be stimulus driven (i.e., automatic), grounded in perception, and supported by specialized processing operations. Here, however, we scrutinize these claims and challenge this viewpoint. Although self-relevance unquestionably influences information processing, we contend that, at least at present, there is limited evidence to suggest that the prioritization of arbitrary self-related stimuli is compulsory, penetrates perception, and is underpinned by activity in a dedicated neural network. Rather, self-prioritization appears to be a task-dependent product of ordinary cognitive processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-886
Number of pages11
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number4
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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