Examination of the effects of self-modeling on autobiographical memory

Date of Completion

January 2007


Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Cognitive




Having been well established within the psychological literature as a highly effective intervention for a number of problematic behaviors, the efficacy of self-modeling has been attributed most commonly to Albert Bandura's social-cognitive theory (Kehle, Bray, Margiano, Theodore, & Zhou, 2002) which invokes the critical elements of observational learning and the unifying contribution of self-efficacy in eliciting behavior change. While the current explanations and proposed mechanisms for self-modeling's efficacy may be valid and necessary, there is reason to believe that they may not account for the influence of all contributing factors. A wealth of cognitive research findings has provided well established and compelling evidence for the malleability of memory, and as Kehle et al. (2002) indicated, behavior change elicited through self-modeling intervention may be mediated by alteration of the individual's memory for performance of the target behavior. The process of a self-modeling intervention capitalizes on a broad range of experimentally-confirmed phenomenal and experimental factors and mechanisms involved in memory alteration, providing sufficient cognitive, perceptual, contextual, semantic, and affective information to closely approximate a "true" memory, and facilitate source misattribution, suggestibility, biases, and thereby, memory alteration/implantation. The intent of this study was to systematically explore the relationship between autobiographical memory alteration and self-modeling efficacy, using a single-subject research design with 3 fourth-grade students demonstrating significant problems with adaptive behavior. Results provide evidence of autobiographical memory alteration in narrative recall, recollective experience, and self-concept reports following self-modeling intervention. These findings support memory alteration as a mediating factor in eliciting behavior change through self-modeling intervention. ^