| Published: September 19, 2020
The role of autobiographical memories in self perception of middle-aged adults
Autobiographical memory and self are two intricately related psychological constructs, interacting through self-defining memory, relevant to one’s interests, motives, and goals. The present study aimed at investigating the differences between two types of autobiographical memories, self-defining (SDM) and non-self-defining (NSDM), in middle-aged adults (N=30), with respect to the phenomenological characteristics, contents, the age of the participants at encoding, and personal significance of the memories, and to explore the nature of relationship between autobiographical memories and self-perception. The participants, sampled through convenience method, were first screened with the help of General Health Questionnaire-28 and Beck Depression Inventory-II in both the sections. They were then requested to recall SDMs and NSDMs, three of each type, from any period of their lives, and to rate each of the memories on 10 phenomenological dimensions (in Memory Experiences Questionnaire-Short Form), personal significance, and perceived competencies in 12 domains of self as reflected in the memories, and mention their age at incident. They also completed the Self-Perception Profile for Adults, which provided their general perceived competencies in the same 12 domains. The contents of the memories were further coded following Manual for Coding Events in Self-Defining Memories. Statistical analyses revealed significant differences between the two types of memories on certain phenomenological characteristics, on the interrelationship among these characteristics, contents, participants’ age at incidents, personal significance, and participants’ self-perceptions reflected in the memories. The present study validates the existence of SDMs as a special class of autobiographical memories with distinctive features and unique relationship with self-perception.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2020, Ghose U. & Mukherjee T.
Received: August 02, 2020; Revision Received: September 12, 2020; Accepted: September 19, 2020
Published in Volume 08, Issue 3, July-September, 2020