Vol. 66 No. 1 (2018)

An Own-Name Bias on Person Memory in Twins

Published 2018-01-02


  • veterans,
  • medical facilities,
  • Act of Congress,
  • Veterans Health Administration,
  • public laws


It has been previously shown that participants recall a greater number of known (familiar or famous) people with the same first name as their own than do paired participants, and vice versa. For example, if Mary and Sarah were paired, Mary recalled, on average, more people called “Mary” but fewer people called “Sarah” than Sarah did. The present study evaluated further whether this own-name bias can be impacted by a strong closeness between the self and the comparison target, by examining whether the bias would still occur in pairs of twins. The results showed that twins recalled more people with the same first name as their own than did their co-twins. Thus, the present study showed that an own-name bias in memory may occur between twins. However, the size of the effect obtained in the present study was smaller than in identical experiments previously conducted with less intimate participants.


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