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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: February 2019

1 - The Educational Benefits of Self-Related Information Processing

from Part I - The Self and Its Impact


In this chapter, we describe psychological and neuroscientific research that demonstrates the unique characteristics of self-related information processing. These characteristics have been shown to produce beneficial effects on basic functions (such as perception, attention, and actions), as well as on higher-order cognitive activities (including memory). The findings are explained by their correspondence to the neurocorrelates of self-related information processing. Northoff's (2016) basic model of the self, which describes self-specificity to be a fundamental aspect of the brain's spontaneous (resting) activity, provides further clarification of these results. After considering the unique characteristics of self-related information processing, we describe the potential benefits of considering findings from neuroscience for educational practice by pointing to the positive outcomes of utility value interventions. More specifically, these types of interventions, which are grounded in the expectancy-value theory of student motivation, are examples of how self-related information processing can have educational benefits by increasing motivation and learning.