ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (6): 757-764.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00757

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The Cultural Differences of Imam-reference Processing: Based on the Retrieval-induce Forgetting Paradigm Discussed

ZHOU Aibao; ZHAN Fen; MA Xiaofeng; LI Jiansheng; XIA Ruixue   

  1. (Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Culture, NorthWest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China)
  • Received:2014-04-21 Published:2015-06-25 Online:2015-06-25
  • Contact: ZHOU Aibao, E-mail:


Self-referential encoding affects retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). However, little research has been conducted to explore whether it can be generalized to different culture and religion contexts, especially whether significant others in real world are involved in self-concept in religion. The present research used retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm to investigate the regional cognition in the references (self, imam, others) by ethnicity (Han vs. Hui). Participants included 99 Hui college students (53 males and 46 females; ranging from 17 to 31 years old; average age = 20.08) from Muslim communities and 90 Han college students (including 31males, 59 females; ranging from 18 to 26 years old; average age = 21.63). Before the experiment began, the Muslim participants were asked to indicate their religion beliefs. And only those who have religion belief took part in. For the Han participants, only those who did not believe in any religion were included in the experiments. Hui subjects were divided into different conditions by self, imam and others. Han subjects were also divided into the three conditions. The results showed that RIF was observed neither under the self-referential encoding nor under the imam-referential encoding in hui culture contexts. While for Han participants, RIF was observed in the imam-referential and the other-referential but not in the self-referential. These suggest that self-referential effect has a cross-cultural generalizability. The imam as an important others to Muslim can be integrated in Hui’s self-concept and therefore lead to imam-referential effect in retrieval-induced forgetting.

Key words: retrieval-induced forgetting, self-referential processing, imam-referential processing, cross-cultural comparison