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Flashcards in Autobiographical memory Deck (73)
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To whom/what does autobiographical memory refer to?

Refers to the self (self-reference)


What is autobiographical memory?

Memory of remembering/re-living an event


What sort of features do autobiographical memories contain?

High in imagery
Contain perceptual & sensory features


What types of events are most likely to be recalled with a highly detailed AM?

Unusual + detailed events
Unusual + recent events


What do Williams, Conway & Cohen (2008) state are the functions of AM?

- directive functions
- social functions (sharing AMs --> pleasant, socially-supportive)
- self-representation
- help us cope with adversity


Which researcher/s recorded 2 events (with 4 cues for each) per day for 6 years?

Wagenaar (1986)


What did Wagenaar (1986) find?

Who, what & where cues were best at evoking a memory
When cues were less efficient

He recalled more info from salient & emotionally-involving events


Robinson (1976) used a Galton Cueing Technique in his study? What did he do & what did he find?

He compared participants' mean response times to recall a memory of an event in response to different cues (actions vs. objects vs. emotions)

Participants recalled events faster after action & object cues

--> specific AMs aren't always accessed via the emotion they are associated with


Which researcher/s investigated whether differences in properties of cue words produced differences in the AMs obtained?
What properties did they look at?
What did they find?

Rubin & Schulkind (1997) investigated whether differences in IMAGERY, CONCRETENESS & MEANINGFULNESS produced differences in AMs obtained

Meaningful memories were best remembered for 20, 35 & 70 y/o


When/why does priming occur?

When exposure to a stimulus (word/event) leads to a faster response to another stimulus

--> have faster access to stimuli associated with the prime word/event


When deciding whether a letter string is a word/non-word, we decide faster if the string is preceded by a word that is EPISODICALLY/SEMANTICALLY related to it


(e.g. nurse --> doctor)


What questionnaire did Conway & Bekerian (1987) design?

Personal Memory Questionnaire


How did they use this in their study?

Used it to identify cues for AM retrieval

Pps had to identify 10 general 'Life Periods' & 4-5 'General Events' for each Life Period

Pps then retrieved memories to primed & unprimed semantic category cues, then to personal primes (Life Periods) & personal history cues (General Events)


What did Conway & Bekerian (1987) find?

Only personal primes helped memory retrieval


What do Lifetime Goals facilitate access to?

Memories of successful goal completion


Describe a typical lifespan AM retrieval task.

Pps (>40 y/o) generate AMs in response to Galton Cues
They date their memories (how old they were when it occurred) & the experimenter plots the number of memories from each age


Which are the stages of the Lifespan Retrieval Curve?

1. Childhood/infantile amnesia
2. Reminiscence bump
3. Recency effect


Which research supports the idea that adults can remember little events from when they were very young (childhood amnesia)?

Robinson-Riegler (2012) - adults are unable to retrieve episodic memories from before 3-4 y/o, and retrieve fewer memories from before age 10 (fewer than what might be expected given the passage of time)


What study disproves the idea that people can't remember memories before the age of 3?

Sheffield & Hudson (1994) - 2 y/os could recall playing with toys in a study they had done 6 months earlier

Children younger than 2 can recall events that occurred when they were 11 months


How are is the memory of 2-3 y/o different from that of older children?

2/3 y/o can recall some events but fewer details unless the event is salient


Wheeler, Stuss & Tulving (1997) found that 2/3 y/o recalled events that had occurred a year before. Why might their study support childhood amnesia though?

2/3 y/o's memories were the recalls of factual info - they had no conscious recollection of the events so their memories can't be classed as AMs


Why might young children not be able to form AMs?

We can't reflect on ourselves & our past experiences until we are 2-3 y/o (when our self-concept & self-awareness starts to develop)


The onset of a cognitive self (at 18-24 months old, as indicated by mirror self-recognition) provides a knowledge structure that organises our memories of experiences. Which researcher/s said this?

Howe & Courage (1993)


What does our self-concept consist of?

A physical self (self-recognition) & psychological self (temporarily-extended self, exists over time)


Without a self-concept what form do our memories take?

Our memories are episodic (linked to time & space) but not autobiographical (linked to the self)


What is autonoetic consciousness?

The experience of oneself engaging in an event

Awareness of a previous conscious experience


What is the Reminiscence Bump?

Most events that we recall occurred between 15-30 y/o


What did Conway et al. (2005) find out about the Reminiscence Bump?

It is observed across cultures


The Reminiscence Bump might be linked to feelings of 'nostalgia for our generation' that we identify with our teen years/20s. Who said this?

Sehulster (1996)


What does Conway et al. (2005) say is formed during the Reminiscence Bump?

A stable 'self' is formed