22 November 2012

New review paper on social and cultural influences in autobiographical memory

In a previous volume of the Annual Review of Psychology “The Development of Autobiographical Memory” (Vol. 62 2011) a must-read review article for those interested in social, cultural and interpersonal influences in the development of autobiographical memory by Robyn Fivush (visit the website of the Family Narratives Lab at Emory University).

The abstract begins: “Autobiographical memory is a uniquely human system that integrates memories of past experiences into an overarching life narrative. In this review, I extend social-cultural models of autobiographical memory development and present theory and research that demonstrates that (a) autobiographical memory is a gradually developing system across childhood and adolescence that depends on the development of a sense of subjective self as continuous in time; (b) autobiographical memory develops within specific social and cultural contexts that relate to individual, gendered, and cultural differences in adults’ autobiographical memories, and, more specifically, (c) mothers who reminisce with their young children in elaborated and evaluative ways have children who develop more detailed, coherent, and evaluative autobiographical memories."

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