The phenomenological experiences of Autobiographical Memory: A cross-sectional and a longitudinal study

Luchetti, Martina (2015) The phenomenological experiences of Autobiographical Memory: A cross-sectional and a longitudinal study, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze psicologiche, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6887.
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Phenomenology is a critical component of autobiographical memory retrieval. Some memories are vivid and rich in sensory details whereas others are faded; some memories are experienced as emotionally intense whereas others are not. Sutin and Robins (2007) identified 10 dimensions in which a memory may vary—i.e., Vividness, Coherence, Accessibility, Sensory Details, Emotional Intensity, Visual Perspective, Time Perspective, Sharing, Distancing, and Valence—and developed a comprehensive psychometrically sound measure of memory phenomenology, the Memory Experiences Questionnaire (MEQ). Phenomenology has been linked to underlining stable dispositions—i.e. personality, as well as to a variety of positive/negative psychological outcomes—well-being and life satisfaction, depression and anxiety, among others. Using the MEQ, a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study were conducted on a large sample of American and Italian adults. In both studies, participants retrieved two ‘key’ personal memories, a Turning Point and a Childhood Memory, and rated the affect and phenomenology of each memory. Participants also completed self-reported measures of personality (i.e. Neuroticism and Conscientiousness), and measures of depression, well-being and life satisfaction. The present research showed that phenomenological ratings tend (a) to cross-sectionally increase across adulthood (Study 1), and (b) to be moderately stable over time, regardless the contents of the memories (Study 2). Interrelations among memory phenomenology, personality and psychological outcome variables were also examined (Study 1 and Study 2). In particular, autobiographical memory phenomenology was proposed as a dynamic expression of personality functioning that partially explains adaptive/maladaptive psychological outcomes. In fact, the findings partially supported the hypothesized mediating effect of phenomenology on the personality association with psychological outcomes. Implications of the findings are discussed proposing future lines of research. In particular, the need for more longitudinal studies is highlighted, along with the combined application of both self-report questionnaires and narrative measures.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Luchetti, Martina
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze umanistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
autobiographical memory, phenomenology, Memory Experiences Questionnaire, memory age-related differences, memory continuity, cross-sectional and longitudinal design, personality functioning, mediation
Data di discussione
10 Aprile 2015

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