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The role of episodic and semantic memory in the development of trait self-knowledge

  • Author(s): Klein, SB;
  • Sherman, JW;
  • Loftus, J
  • et al.

Research by Klein and Loftus (e.g., Klein & Loftus, 1993a, 1993c) has suggested that the development of trait self-knowledge follows a particular sequence. When people have performed relatively few trait-relevant behaviors, their trait knowledge is represented episodically; but as their trait-relevant behaviors increase, they begin to abstract trait knowledge from behavioral episodes and represent it in semantic form. The present research updates this model by showing that even when trait-relevant experience is low, semantic knowledge of one's traits is available and it can serve as the basis for trait self-judgments.

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