* Definition * Memories that refer to and bear on the self-construal of the individual rememberer * They are intricately involved in shaping the rememberer’s identity * They contrast with memories that do not bear on individual identity
Autobiographical memory are represented at different levels * Lifetime period, e.g., When I was at school, * Usually represents thematic material, e.g., When I was at school, I was a lost soul. * Also included temporal knowledge, e.g., When I was at school, I had not yet reached my 20th yr. * General Events * A smaller time frame, e.g., My trip to Albania * Often structured around individual memories featuring goal-attainment. * Event-specific knowledge * Refers to a specific event * Often involves images
Conway and Pleydell-Prince’s Self-Memory System * Conjunction of the working self and autobiographical knowledge * Working self elicits specific autobiographical knowledge * As a result, the autobiographical knowledge grounds the self * Emphasized the change nature of the self
Reminiscence Bump * Crovitz technique * Says first autobiographical memory that comes to mind when hearing the word X * Rubin and others have looked at myriad backgrounds, cultures, etc. Explanations * Failure to remember earliest memories – infantile amnesia * Good retention of recent memories – recency effects, standard forgetting curves * The question is: Why the bump?
Cognitive explanation * Novelty followed by stability. * At beginning of adolescence, rapid change, things are novel, but at the end of early adulthood, things are stable and this allows one to consolidate the memories * Novel events allow for release from PI * Novel events are distinctive * Novel events, especially at the end of a period of change, allow for an “effort after meaning” * Events during a period of stability are not likely to serve as a reference event, e.g., your marriage * Once a novel event becomes a reference event during a period of stability, it can serve as a point of organization
Identity Formation * Erickson’s state model of identity formation suggests that identity is forms in late adolescence. * People also have more and varied social contact in late adolescence, leading to social reinforcement of memories * This increased social contact is associate with * Self-conceptual development and maintenance * Information seeking
Genetic Fitness * One is most fit at that period, and hence, from an evolutionary perspective, best primed to remember what is happening to you * It is, for instance, the time period of procreation, and hence the time period for developing loyalties * In traditional societies, births take place, in the main, between 10 and 35, with the peak at about 27
Life scripts * Builds on Schank & Abelson’s concept of script * Life script: * Is semantic knowledge about expectations in a given culture about life events, not a form of personal episodic memory for these events * Is a series of temporally order events * Can be described in terms of slots and their fillers * Forms a hierarchical arrangement with transitional events forming a higher-order “scene” in which a series of subordinate actions or episodes are nested. * Used to process life stories * The slots and their requirements for life scripts are culturally important transitional events and their culturally sanctioned timing. * Because life scripts represent a normative life course, life scripts are not extracted from personal actions. Young people who only lived through a small portion of their life know their cultural life script * Life scripts do not represent the average life, they represent the