Autobiographical Memory (autobiographical + memory)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Psychosocial Stages and the Accessibility of Autobiographical Memories Across the Life Cycle

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2004
Martin A. Conway
Memories were classified in terms of the psychosocial stages to which their content corresponded. For the majority of memories it was found that age at encoding corresponded to when specific psychosocial stages would have been most likely to have occurred. In a second experiment older adults recalled memories to cues drawn from psychosocial stages and the same pattern of findings was observed. These findings demonstrate that the goals of the self play a major role in both the encoding and accessibility of autobiographical memories, and they also provide support for Erikson's psychosocial theory of development (1950, 1997). [source]


One-Year Postoperative Autobiographical Memory Following Unilateral Temporal Lobectomy for Control of Intractable Epilepsy

EPILEPSIA, Issue 3 2007
Virginie Voltzenlogel
Summary:,Purpose: To examine the effects of temporal lobectomy (TL), particularly concerning its lateralization. Methods: Patients completed autobiographical memory tests, preoperatively and 1-year postoperatively. Results: (a) right TL (RTL) patients recalled significantly more memories from the year after surgery than from the year before TL; (b) their pre to postoperative improvement on autobiographical memory scores was positively correlated to improvement of delayed story recall scores; and (c) 1 year after surgery, performance on recent personal memory recall was normalized for RTL patients only. Conclusion: We suggest that, in the absence of recurrent seizures, the relative integrity of the left hemisphere together with residual right hemisphere structures sustains postoperative autobiographical memory consolidation, at least 1 year postoperatively. [source]


The Stories We Keep: Autobiographical Memory in American and Chinese Middle-Aged Adults

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 5 2004
Qi Wang
They each recalled 20 memories from any period of their lives. Memory content was analyzed as a function of culture (U.S. and China), life period (childhood, youth, early midlife, and peak midlife), and gender (female and male). Across the four life periods, Americans provided more memories of individual experiences and unique, one-time events and focused on their own roles and emotions. In contrast, Chinese were more inclined to recall memories of social and historical events and placed a great emphasis on social interactions and significant others in their memory narratives. Chinese also more frequently drew upon past events to convey moral messages than did Americans. In addition, memory content evidenced age-related increases in both autonomous and social orientations. Findings are discussed in light of the self-definitional and directive functions of Autobiographical memory in the context of culture. [source]


,So that we might have roses in December': The functions of autobiographical memory

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 8 2009
John F. Kihlstrom
Autobiographical memory is not merely declarative and episodic in nature. It also entails explicit self-reference, chronological organization and causal relations. It entails conscious recollection, in terms of remembering, knowing, feeling or believing. Its functions may be agentic or nonagentic, but all are assigned, not intrinsic, and thus are observer-relative features of reality. Questions about function risk committing the adaptationist fallacy. Intrapersonally, autobiographical memory is a critical component in the mental representation of self. Interpersonally, autobiographical memory provides a basis for establishing and maintaining social relationships. Autobiographical memory is an individual right, and it may also be an ethical obligation. The popularity of memoir as a literary genre indicates that it is also a means of making money. In a future world of artificial minds with infinite capacity for data storage, there still will be no substitute for the human capacity to remember what really matters and forget what does not. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Autobiographical memory and language use: linguistic analyses of critical life event narratives in a non-clinical population

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
Nina Rullkoetter
Previous research indicates a strong association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychopathology, and linguistic indices, but most studies have only compared one traumatic and one neutral life event. Referring to the Dual Representation Theory for PTSD we investigated the narrative representation of two negative life events, with and without current emotional impact in a non-clinical population. Twenty-five subjects wrote detailed narratives of the two types of life events. Lexical categories were coded and compared between the different scripts. Life events with current emotional impact were characterised by a greater use of emotional words, especially secondary emotionally words. Proprioceptive words were more often used and there were more errors when present tense was employed. Additionally, a greater number of sentences were found in these scripts. Our data suggest that in healthy subjects a relationship exists between narrative peculiarities and the current emotional impact of autobiographical memory shaped by negative life events. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Negative appraisals and cognitive avoidance of intrusive memories in depression: a replication and extension

DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY, Issue 7 2008
Alishia D. Williams B.A. (Hons.)
Abstract Recent research has demonstrated that intrusive negative autobiographical memories represent a shared phenomenological feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. A preliminary investigation (Starr and Moulds, 2006) successfully applied a cognitive appraisal model of PTSD to the maintenance of intrusive memories in depression. The current investigation sought to replicate and extend these findings. Two hundred and fifty first-year undergraduate students were interviewed to assess for the presence of a negative autobiographical memory that had spontaneously intruded in the past week. Participants completed self-report inventories assessing trait and situational employment of cognitive avoidance mechanisms in response to these memories. Consistent with Starr and Moulds, intrusion-related distress correlated with dysphoria, irrespective of intrusion frequency. Assigning negative appraisals to one's intrusive memory and attempts to control the memory were positively associated with intrusion-related distress, level of depression, and cognitive avoidance mechanisms. Additionally, negative appraisals and control influenced the employment rumination as an avoidant response to a greater degree than the corresponding trait tendency. Finally, negative appraisals and the use of cognitive mechanisms were predictive of depression concurrently. The results support the validity of borrowing from PTSD models to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that maintain intrusive memories in depressed samples. Depression and Anxiety 0:1,8, 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Reliving lifelong episodic autobiographical memories via the hippocampus: A correlative resting PET study in healthy middle-aged subjects

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 5 2008
Pascale Piolino
Abstract We aimed at identifying the cerebral structures whose synaptic function subserves the recollection of lifetime's episodic autobiographical memory (AM) via autonoetic consciousness. Twelve healthy middle-aged subjects (mean age: 59 years 2.5) underwent a specially designed cognitive test to assess the ability to relive richly detailed episodic autobiographical memories from five time periods using the Remember/Know procedure. We computed an index of episodicity (number of Remember responses justified by the recall of specific events and details) and an index of retrieval spontaneity, and additionally an index of semanticized memories (number of Know responses). The regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in the resting state, with H2O15 as part of an activation PET study. The indexes were correlated with blood flow using volumes of interest in frontotemporal regions, including hippocampus and voxel-wise analyses in SPM. With both analyses, significant correlations were mainly found between the index of episodicity and rCBF in the medial temporal lobe, including hippocampus, across the five time periods (unlike the index of semanticized memories) and between the spontaneity index and rCBF in the prefrontal areas. These results highlight, in healthy subjects, the distinct role of these two structures in AM retrieval and support the view that the hippocampus is needed for reexperiencing detailed episodic memories no matter how old they are. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Retrograde amnesia and the volume of critical brain structures

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 8 2003
M.D. Kopelman
Abstract There are many controversies concerning the structural basis of retrograde amnesia (RA). One view is that memories are held briefly within a medial temporal store ("hippocampal complex") before being "consolidated" or reorganised within temporal neocortex and/or networks more widely distributed within the cerebral cortex. An alternative view is that the medial temporal lobes are always involved in the storage and retrieval (reactivation) of autobiographical memories (multiple trace theory). The present study used quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 40 patients with focal pathology/volume loss in different sites, to examine the correlates of impairment on three different measures of RA. The findings supported the view that widespread neural networks are involved in the storage and retrieval of autobiographical and other remote memories. Brain volume measures in critical structures could account for 60% of variance on autobiographical memory measures (for incidents and facts) in diencephalic patients and for 60,68% of variance in patients with frontal lesions. Significant correlations with medial temporal lobe volume were found only in the diencephalic group, in whom they were thought to reflect thalamic changes, but not in patients with herpes encephalitis or hypoxia in whom the temporal lobes were particularly implicated. The latter finding fails to support one of the main predictions of multiple trace theory, as presently expounded. 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Psychopathology and autobiographical memory in stroke and non-stroke hospitalized patients

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY, Issue 1 2003
Mark John Sampson
Abstract Background Psychopathology and autobiographical memory were investigated in a cohort of stroke and non-stroke hospitalized patients. Both these cohorts have been identified as having high levels of psychopathology (Katon and Sullivan 1990; Burvill et al., 1995). Difficulties recalling specific autobiographical memories (overgeneral memory) have been identified as important psychological variables in depression and predictors of outcome (Williams and Scott 1988; Brittlebank et al., 1993). Intrusive autobiographical memories have also been found to be associated with depression and overgeneral memory in depressed women (Kuyken and Brewin, 1995) and depressed cancer patients (Brewin et al., 1998a). This study looked at levels of psychopathology and autobiographical memories in stroke and non-stroke hospital patients. Method 417 patients were screened, of the 176 eligible 103 agreed to participate (54 stroke and 49 non-stroke). Participants were assessed for overgenerality using the Autobiographical Memory Test and intrusiveness of memories using the Impact of Events Scale. Also assessed were PTSD-like symptoms (PCL-S), mood (HADS, GHQ-28) and cognitive ability (MMSE, verbal fluency, digit span and estimated pre-morbid IQ). Results No significant differences were found between stroke and non-stroke patients on severity of depression, anxiety, severity of PTSD-like symptoms or autobiographical memories. Backward multivariate regression analyses for combined data (stroke and non-stroke) indicated that overgeneral memory recall, intrusive memories of past events and intrusive memories of illness were significant independent predictors of depression (HADS). Avoidance of intrusive memories and reported childhood distress were not predictors of overgeneral memory recall. Significant predictors of overgeneral memory recall were; Gender, antidepressant medication, and estimated IQ. Conclusion Significant levels of psychopathology were identified in this cohort. However, there were no significant differences in the levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD symptoms and autobiographical memory between stroke and non-stroke hospitalized patients. Of particular interest was the finding that PTSD-like symptoms did not appear to be influenced by the nature of the person's illness. In combined data (stroke and non-stroke) autobiographical memories (intrusive images of their illness, intrusive memories of other events and overgeneral memory recall variables) were significant predictors of depression in this cohort. This suggests that psychological intervention of memory processes may be a worthwhile target in psychological intervention for depression in these cohorts. Gender, cognitive impairment, antidepressant medication, and estimated IQ were significant predictors of overgeneral memory recall and further investigation into the validity of these findings are warranted. Suggestions for further research and limitations of the study are also discussed. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Psychosocial Stages and the Accessibility of Autobiographical Memories Across the Life Cycle

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2004
Martin A. Conway
Memories were classified in terms of the psychosocial stages to which their content corresponded. For the majority of memories it was found that age at encoding corresponded to when specific psychosocial stages would have been most likely to have occurred. In a second experiment older adults recalled memories to cues drawn from psychosocial stages and the same pattern of findings was observed. These findings demonstrate that the goals of the self play a major role in both the encoding and accessibility of autobiographical memories, and they also provide support for Erikson's psychosocial theory of development (1950, 1997). [source]


Motive-Related Memories: Content, Structure, and Affect

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2001
Barbara Woike
Two studies tested hypotheses on the content and structure of autobiographical memories and the affect linked to them. In Study 1, agentic and communal-motivated individuals recorded their most memorable experiences and completed the PANAS each day for 6 weeks. Memories were coded for content and structure. Agentics and communals reported more motive congruent memories, and their congruent memories were structured using more differentiation and integration, respectively. In addition, agentics had slightly higher PA and lower NA scores. In Study 2, agentics and communals recalled an event pertaining to either social separation or connection and then completed an affect measure of agentic and communal items. Agentics recalled more agentic memories in the separation condition and communals recalled more communal memories in the connection condition. Complexity analyses showed that agentics and communals used differentiation and integration respectively to recall their motive- congruent memories. The affect data showed a modest predicted pattern. Results suggest that implicit motives have an impact on autobiographical memory but are not as clearly related to self-report affect measures, possibly due to method variance. [source]


What remains of that day: The survival of children's autobiographical memories across time

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 4 2010
Gwynn Morris
In this study we investigated the contributions of the content and the coherence of initial event reports to the survival of autobiographical memories during part of the lifespan eventually obscured by childhood amnesia. Over 100 children reported personal experiences when they were 4, 6 or 8 years old, enabling a determination of age-related differences in two aspects of narrative coherence: Theme and chronology. Content was assessed separately through the presentation of directed memory probes. After a 1-year delay, younger children more frequently failed to report target experiences. Multilevel modelling indicated that the survivability of a memory was predicted over and above the child's age by high thematic coherence of the initial memory narrative, but not by the memory content. It is possible that memories described in a highly thematically coherent narrative are indicative of well-integrated event memories, and thus likely to be cued more often, resulting in their long-term survival. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Mood and retrieval-induced forgetting of positive and negative autobiographical memories

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
Celia B. Harris
In two experiments, we examined the effects of high and low levels of dysphoria on retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) of positive and negative autobiographical memories. In Experiment 1, participants took part in an RIF procedure that was adapted for autobiographical memories. Regardless of level of dysphoria, participants showed facilitation for both negative and positive memories; they only showed RIF for negative memories. Differences in baseline memories were responsible for this effect: Participants recalled more positive than negative baseline memories. Experiment 2 was conducted to address these baseline differences, and also focused only on participants with high levels of dysphoria. Again, high dysphoric participants showed facilitation for both positive and negative memories; they only showed RIF for negative memories. Recall also varied depending on the content of practiced memories and individual differences in anxiety. Overall, these results suggest that retrieval-practice might have different outcomes for different kinds of autobiographical memories, that these outcomes may depend on individual memory biases and memory valence, and that practicing positive memories may assist mood repair. Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


The Fading affect bias: But what the hell is it for?

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 8 2009
W. Richard Walker
This article reviews research examining the fading affect bias (FAB): The finding that the intensity of affect associated with negative autobiographical memories fades faster than affect associated with positive autobiographical memories. The FAB is a robust effect in autobiographical memory that has been replicated using a variety of methods and populations. The FAB is linked to both cognitive and social processes that support a positive view of the self. Accordingly, we speculate that one function of the FAB may be to induce individuals to be positive and action-oriented so that they may better face and master life challenges. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


The possible functions of involuntary autobiographical memories

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 8 2009
Anne S. Rasmussen
Involuntary autobiographical memories are memories of personal experiences that come to mind spontaneously,that is with no preceding attempt at retrieval. We propose that such memories form a basic mode of remembering that is as frequent, common and functional as voluntary remembering but presumably evolutionarily earlier than the latter. In contrast to voluntary recall, the activation of involuntary memories involves little executive control. It typically depends on a distinct feature-overlap between the remembered and current situation, which favours the activation of specific episodic information. Involuntary remembering may serve the overarching function of providing a sense of continuity across time, thereby automatically updating our personal sense of existence. Furthermore, since involuntary memories yield fast access to memories of specific events with a distinctive content-overlap to the current situation, they may serve important directive functions in novel situations. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Me Too!: Social modelling influences on early autobiographical memories

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
Tiamoyo Peterson
To investigate the malleability of early memories, 200 participants were asked to describe their earliest memories. Before doing so, approximately half were exposed to confederates who described very early memories such as their first steps or a second birthday party, while others were asked only to think about their earliest memories for two,minutes before beginning writing. Participants who were exposed to confederate very early memories produced memories that were nearly a year younger on average than the memories reported by controls (2.99 years vs. 3.96 years). Additionally, when participants in the memory discussion condition were asked about an early event that a confederate had recounted they were more confident than controls that they could recall the event in their own lives. These results indicate that autobiographical memories for early events are quite susceptible to social influence and that simply hearing the very early memories of others can alter autobiographical memory. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


A comparison of involuntary autobiographical memory retrievals

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 9 2006
Christopher T. Ball
This study compared three different ways autobiographical memories are elicited involuntarily: (1) cued by an active goal common to memory and retrieval contexts in combination with sensory information associated with this goal-directed activity; (2) cued by sensory information that does not relate to goal-directed activity common to both memory and retrieval contexts; and (3) activated when no identifiable cue present in retrieval context. Two hundred and twenty eight participants recorded details of a single autobiographical memory that resulted naturally from a spontaneous, non-deliberate retrieval. Nearly all recorded memories described specific events (83%) with very few memories less than 7 days old (8%) and many memories more than 5 years old (44%). No significant differences resulted between the three retrieval types for the age, specificity or prior rehearsal of memories reported. However, the level of attention at retrieval was significantly more diffuse for retrievals without a clearly identifiable cue. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for current models of involuntary autobiographical memory retrieval. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Reliving, emotions, and fragmentation in the autobiographical memories of veterans diagnosed with PTSD

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 1 2004
David C. Rubin
Fifty veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) each recalled four autobiographical memories: one from the 2 years before service, one non-combat memory from the time in service, one from combat, and one from service that had often come as an intrusive memory. For each memory, they provided 21 ratings about reliving, belief, sensory properties, reexperiencing emotions, visceral emotional responses, fragmentation, and narrative coherence. We used these ratings to examine three claims about traumatic memories: a separation of cognitive and visceral aspects of emotion, an increased sense of reliving, and increased fragmentation. There was evidence for a partial separation of cognitive judgments of reexperiencing an emotion and reports of visceral symptoms of the emotion, with visceral symptoms correlating more consistently with scores on PTSD tests. Reliving, but not fragmentation of the memories, increased with increases in the trauma relatedness of the event and with increases in scores on standardized tests of PTSD severity. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Phenomenal characteristics of co-created guided imagery and autobiographical memories

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 7 2003
Kinda L. K. Kealy
Concern has recently been raised about the potential for guided images to be mistaken for memories of actual events. According to the reality-monitoring framework, such misattributions can occur due to the similarity of sensory and reflective memory characteristics acquired at encoding, or due to source judgement processes at retrieval. A study was conducted to examine the similarity of guided images and perceived memories at imagery encoding, and after a short delay. Participants rated the characteristics of an actual event, a natural imagery event (e.g. a fantasy), and a guided imagery experience, immediately and after a one-week interval. For each condition, participants discussed their memory or guided imagery experience with the researcher as they reviewed or created it. Ratings indicated that guided imagery was similar to perceived memory with respect to sensory characteristics. However, the factors associated with supporting memories (contextual and temporal detail, setting familiarity, and recollection of surrounding events) were less vivid for guided imagery than for perceived events. In all cases, these patterns were stable over time. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Phenomenal characteristics of autobiographical memories for positive, negative, and neutral events

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 3 2003
Arnaud D'Argembeau
We investigated memory qualities for positive, negative, and neutral autobiographical events. Participants recalled two personal experiences of each type and then rated their memories on several characteristics (e.g. sensorial and contextual details). They also reported whether they ,see' the events in their memories from their own perspective (,field' memories) or whether they ,see' the self engaged in the event as an observer would (,observer' memories). Positive memories contained more sensorial (visual, smell, taste) and contextual (location, time) details than both negative and neutral events, whereas negative and neutral memories did not differ on most dimensions. Positive and negative events were more often recollected with a field perspective than neutral events. Finally, participants were classified in four groups according to the repressive coping style framework. Emotional memories of repressors were not less detailed than those of the other groups. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Understanding and Treating Complicated Grief: What Can We Learn from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, Issue 2 2006
Anke Ehlers
The article outlines possible parallels between the phenomenology and treatment of complicated grief (CG) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In particular, it explores how treatment procedures used in Cognitive Therapy for PTSD (Ehlers & Clark, 2000) may be adapted for the treatment of CG. Stimulus Discrimination may be helpful in breaking the link between everyday triggers and "felt presence" memories of the deceased. Memory Updating procedures may help the patient accept that the deceased is no longer alive and no longer suffering. Reclaiming your Life procedures may help the patient access autobiographical memories that are not linked to the deceased and counteract beliefs about the value of life without the deceased. The article further addresses the necessity of specifying the idiosyncratic beliefs that prevent coming to terms with the death, of understanding the relationship between beliefs and coping strategies, and of distinguishing memories from rumination. [source]


Negative appraisals and cognitive avoidance of intrusive memories in depression: a replication and extension

DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY, Issue 7 2008
Alishia D. Williams B.A. (Hons.)
Abstract Recent research has demonstrated that intrusive negative autobiographical memories represent a shared phenomenological feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. A preliminary investigation (Starr and Moulds, 2006) successfully applied a cognitive appraisal model of PTSD to the maintenance of intrusive memories in depression. The current investigation sought to replicate and extend these findings. Two hundred and fifty first-year undergraduate students were interviewed to assess for the presence of a negative autobiographical memory that had spontaneously intruded in the past week. Participants completed self-report inventories assessing trait and situational employment of cognitive avoidance mechanisms in response to these memories. Consistent with Starr and Moulds, intrusion-related distress correlated with dysphoria, irrespective of intrusion frequency. Assigning negative appraisals to one's intrusive memory and attempts to control the memory were positively associated with intrusion-related distress, level of depression, and cognitive avoidance mechanisms. Additionally, negative appraisals and control influenced the employment rumination as an avoidant response to a greater degree than the corresponding trait tendency. Finally, negative appraisals and the use of cognitive mechanisms were predictive of depression concurrently. The results support the validity of borrowing from PTSD models to elucidate the cognitive mechanisms that maintain intrusive memories in depressed samples. Depression and Anxiety 0:1,8, 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Reliving lifelong episodic autobiographical memories via the hippocampus: A correlative resting PET study in healthy middle-aged subjects

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 5 2008
Pascale Piolino
Abstract We aimed at identifying the cerebral structures whose synaptic function subserves the recollection of lifetime's episodic autobiographical memory (AM) via autonoetic consciousness. Twelve healthy middle-aged subjects (mean age: 59 years 2.5) underwent a specially designed cognitive test to assess the ability to relive richly detailed episodic autobiographical memories from five time periods using the Remember/Know procedure. We computed an index of episodicity (number of Remember responses justified by the recall of specific events and details) and an index of retrieval spontaneity, and additionally an index of semanticized memories (number of Know responses). The regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in the resting state, with H2O15 as part of an activation PET study. The indexes were correlated with blood flow using volumes of interest in frontotemporal regions, including hippocampus and voxel-wise analyses in SPM. With both analyses, significant correlations were mainly found between the index of episodicity and rCBF in the medial temporal lobe, including hippocampus, across the five time periods (unlike the index of semanticized memories) and between the spontaneity index and rCBF in the prefrontal areas. These results highlight, in healthy subjects, the distinct role of these two structures in AM retrieval and support the view that the hippocampus is needed for reexperiencing detailed episodic memories no matter how old they are. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Finding Meaning in Memory: A Methodological Critique of Collective Memory Studies

HISTORY AND THEORY, Issue 2 2002
Wolf Kansteiner
The memory wave in the humanities has contributed to the impressive revival of cultural history, but the success of memory studies has not been accompanied by significant conceptual and methodological advances in the research of collective memory processes. Most studies on memory focus on the representation of specific events within particular chronological, geographical, and media settings without reflecting on the audiences of the representations in question. As a result, the wealth of new insights into past and present historical cultures cannot be linked conclusively to specific social collectives and their historical consciousness. This methodological problem is even enhanced by the metaphorical use of psychological and neurological terminology, which misrepresents the social dynamics of collective memory as an effect and extension of individual, autobiographical memory. Some of these shortcomings can be addressed through the extensive contextualization of specific strategies of representation, which links facts of representation with facts of reception. As a result, the history of collective memory would be recast as a complex process of cultural production and consumption that acknowledges the persistence of cultural traditions as well as the ingenuity of memory makers and the subversive interests of memory consumers. The negotiations among these three different historical agents create the rules of engagement in the competitive arena of memory politics, and the reconstruction of these negotiations helps us distinguish among the abundance of failed collective memory initiatives on the one hand and the few cases of successful collective memory construction on the other. For this purpose, collective memory studies should adopt the methods of communication and media studies, especially with regard to media reception, and continue to use a wide range of interpretive tools from traditional historiography to poststructural approaches. From the perspective of collective memory studies, these two traditions are closely related and mutually beneficial, rather than mutually exclusive, ways of analyzing historical cultures. [source]


Psychopathology and autobiographical memory in stroke and non-stroke hospitalized patients

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY, Issue 1 2003
Mark John Sampson
Abstract Background Psychopathology and autobiographical memory were investigated in a cohort of stroke and non-stroke hospitalized patients. Both these cohorts have been identified as having high levels of psychopathology (Katon and Sullivan 1990; Burvill et al., 1995). Difficulties recalling specific autobiographical memories (overgeneral memory) have been identified as important psychological variables in depression and predictors of outcome (Williams and Scott 1988; Brittlebank et al., 1993). Intrusive autobiographical memories have also been found to be associated with depression and overgeneral memory in depressed women (Kuyken and Brewin, 1995) and depressed cancer patients (Brewin et al., 1998a). This study looked at levels of psychopathology and autobiographical memories in stroke and non-stroke hospital patients. Method 417 patients were screened, of the 176 eligible 103 agreed to participate (54 stroke and 49 non-stroke). Participants were assessed for overgenerality using the Autobiographical Memory Test and intrusiveness of memories using the Impact of Events Scale. Also assessed were PTSD-like symptoms (PCL-S), mood (HADS, GHQ-28) and cognitive ability (MMSE, verbal fluency, digit span and estimated pre-morbid IQ). Results No significant differences were found between stroke and non-stroke patients on severity of depression, anxiety, severity of PTSD-like symptoms or autobiographical memories. Backward multivariate regression analyses for combined data (stroke and non-stroke) indicated that overgeneral memory recall, intrusive memories of past events and intrusive memories of illness were significant independent predictors of depression (HADS). Avoidance of intrusive memories and reported childhood distress were not predictors of overgeneral memory recall. Significant predictors of overgeneral memory recall were; Gender, antidepressant medication, and estimated IQ. Conclusion Significant levels of psychopathology were identified in this cohort. However, there were no significant differences in the levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD symptoms and autobiographical memory between stroke and non-stroke hospitalized patients. Of particular interest was the finding that PTSD-like symptoms did not appear to be influenced by the nature of the person's illness. In combined data (stroke and non-stroke) autobiographical memories (intrusive images of their illness, intrusive memories of other events and overgeneral memory recall variables) were significant predictors of depression in this cohort. This suggests that psychological intervention of memory processes may be a worthwhile target in psychological intervention for depression in these cohorts. Gender, cognitive impairment, antidepressant medication, and estimated IQ were significant predictors of overgeneral memory recall and further investigation into the validity of these findings are warranted. Suggestions for further research and limitations of the study are also discussed. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


The Present of the Past: Dialogues With Memory Over Time

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2009
Ruthellen Josselson
ABSTRACT This study analyzes the self-constructing meanings of an autobiographical episode in the life of one woman told at repeated intervals over 35 years. It demonstrates the ways in which the present constructs the past and shows how autobiographical memory may be used dialogically to create and contrast with current self-constructions, to disavow intolerable aspects of self, and to preserve disused but valued self-representations. Memories, in this sense, operate as texts whose meaning changes as the dialogue within self changes. The meanings of past memories, rather than their contents, are reshaped to hold aspects of a layered, multiple self. [source]


Motive-Related Memories: Content, Structure, and Affect

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2001
Barbara Woike
Two studies tested hypotheses on the content and structure of autobiographical memories and the affect linked to them. In Study 1, agentic and communal-motivated individuals recorded their most memorable experiences and completed the PANAS each day for 6 weeks. Memories were coded for content and structure. Agentics and communals reported more motive congruent memories, and their congruent memories were structured using more differentiation and integration, respectively. In addition, agentics had slightly higher PA and lower NA scores. In Study 2, agentics and communals recalled an event pertaining to either social separation or connection and then completed an affect measure of agentic and communal items. Agentics recalled more agentic memories in the separation condition and communals recalled more communal memories in the connection condition. Complexity analyses showed that agentics and communals used differentiation and integration respectively to recall their motive- congruent memories. The affect data showed a modest predicted pattern. Results suggest that implicit motives have an impact on autobiographical memory but are not as clearly related to self-report affect measures, possibly due to method variance. [source]


The phenomenology of exception times: Qualitative differences between problem-focussed and solution-focussed interventions

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 4 2010
Thomas Wehr
Solution-focussed brief therapy (SFBT) is a prominent psychotherapeutic approach that deals with a positive focus and promises brief interventions. In two experiments, a solution-focussed technique was compared with a problem-focussed intervention. By means of a structured questionnaire, subjects were encouraged to think about a standard (Experiment 1) or a facultative topic (Experiment 2). Subsequently, they generated either one or five exceptions or exemplary problem episodes. Dependent variables were confident in coping with the problem, ease of retrieval, psychic comfort and several phenomenological properties of the autobiographical memory. A solution-oriented intervention increased self-confidence and established a positive mood. Exception times had a more positive tone and were generally more easily retrieved than problem episodes. The study confirms the claims of the SFBT for empowerment and rapid reduction of current suffering. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Baddeley revisited: The functional approach to autobiographical memory

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 8 2009
Susan Bluck
In Baddeley's (1988) classic article he challenged researchers to take a functional approach by asking, for their phenomenon of interest, "but what the hell is it for?" In twenty years, how far has the field advanced in addressing this question, particularly in examining the functions of autobiographical memory? This introductory article provides an overview of the functional approach. Next, eight core articles appear, each framed to address Baddeley's question. The core articles are written by experts on distinct empirically established autobiographical memory phenomena: each presents a synopsis of current research in their area and then examines the function that their specific autobiographical memory phenomenon serves in human activity and adaptation. The issue ends with two commentaries by scholars who provide analyses of the functional approach from unique perspectives. Revisiting Baddeley provides an opportunity for a current discussion of the strengths and challenges of taking a functional approach to autobiographical memory. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Thinking and talking about the past: Why remember?

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 8 2009
Susan Bluck
Following functional theory, the focus of this paper is to examine individuals' reports of the functions that thinking and talking about the past serves in their daily lives. Younger and older men and women provided reports of the frequency with which they think and talk about their personal past to serve self-continuity, social-bonding and directing-behaviour functions. Younger and older adults endorsed the same frequency of using the past to maintain social bonds. In keeping with the context of their developmental life phase, including the need to forge self-concept clarity and their more open-ended perspective of the future, younger adults reported more often using autobiographical memory to create self-continuity and direct future plans. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]