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The relation of the conceptual self to recent and distant autobiographical memories


Demiray, Burcu; Bluck, Susan (2011). The relation of the conceptual self to recent and distant autobiographical memories. Memory, 19(8):975-992.

Abstract

Based on the self-memory system model (SMS; Conway, Singer, & Tagini, 2004) of autobiographical memory, this study uses a large sample of young and middle-aged adults to investigate the relation between individuals’ current self-characteristics and the content of both their earliest childhood memory and a recent memory. In the first session, participants’ current self-characteristics were assessed. In the second session, individuals provided a written narrative of their earliest childhood memory and a more recent memory (within-participants design) and rated the self themes present in each memory. In keeping with the SMS model, findings show that current self-characteristics were reflected in individuals’ memories. As predicted, however, recent memories were more frequently linked to current self-characteristics than were earliest memories. All six current self-characteristics predicted the inclusion of these themes in recent memories, but only four self-characteristics were associated with memory themes in earliest memories. The relation between current self-characteristics and memory themes did not differ across young and middle-aged adults, suggesting developmental stability in these relations. Findings provide general support for the SMS model but also suggest possibilities for its extension and refinement.

Abstract

Based on the self-memory system model (SMS; Conway, Singer, & Tagini, 2004) of autobiographical memory, this study uses a large sample of young and middle-aged adults to investigate the relation between individuals’ current self-characteristics and the content of both their earliest childhood memory and a recent memory. In the first session, participants’ current self-characteristics were assessed. In the second session, individuals provided a written narrative of their earliest childhood memory and a more recent memory (within-participants design) and rated the self themes present in each memory. In keeping with the SMS model, findings show that current self-characteristics were reflected in individuals’ memories. As predicted, however, recent memories were more frequently linked to current self-characteristics than were earliest memories. All six current self-characteristics predicted the inclusion of these themes in recent memories, but only four self-characteristics were associated with memory themes in earliest memories. The relation between current self-characteristics and memory themes did not differ across young and middle-aged adults, suggesting developmental stability in these relations. Findings provide general support for the SMS model but also suggest possibilities for its extension and refinement.

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8 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:13 Jan 2015 10:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:49
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Inc.
ISSN:0965-8211
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2011.626427
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2011.626427
PubMed ID:22092104

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