Self-Esteem and Beliefs About Memory in Environmentally Stable and Relocated Students

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This research examined beliefs about the utility of environmental, semantic, and phonological cues for remembering, as these beliefs are related to feelings of self-esteem, assertiveness, and locus of control. We proposed different types of relationships between self-esteem (and assertiveness) and metamemory for two groups of college students, based on their differential experiences with distinctivememory failures. For students who were familiar with their current environment, self-esteem was positively related to confidence in having a good memory. It was only for newcomers - students who had recently moved to a new environment - that beliefs about the benefits of environmental cues were positively related to self-esteem and assertiveness. These results suggested that if newcomers were less aware of the utility of environmental cues, they were more likely to attribute their memory failures to their own inadequacies. We also obtained evidence that subjects with an internal locus of control were more knowledgeable regarding the utility of environmental cues than were externally oriented subjects.





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Journal of Research in Personality