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Autobiographical Memory. Autobiographical memory Memory for our life story Refers to memory for an individual’s life events and other knowledge about that specific individual’s life It includes self knowledge such as information about individual goals, aspirations, etc. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memoryMemory for our life storyRefers to memory for an individuals life events and other knowledge about that specific individuals lifeIt includes self knowledge such as information about individual goals, aspirations, etc.includes information about specific events or episodes that we have experienced

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)AM is both episodic and semanticEpisodic (e.g., memory for where you were and how you experienced 9/11)Semantic (e.g., when and where you were born)AM memories often have episodic and semantic elementsAM constructive and integrative, often spanning multiple eventsAM is always self-referential

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Martin Conway AM investigatorConway views AM as hierarchical (see Figure)At the highest level of the hierarchy are themes or important life goals professional goals, relationship goals etc. Often organized into lifetime periods that may overlap (e.g., time at high school, university); time I dated person 1, person 2 etc.

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Martin Conway AM investigatorOften organized into lifetime periods that may overlap (e.g., time at high school, university); time I dated person 1, person 2 etc.These life narrative memories tend to be organized into narrative structures

  • Conway model of AMConway model of AMMajor components: event-specific memories, general events, and working self (conceptual self)

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)At a more specific level there may be memories of general eventsFinally there may be specific episodic memories

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Event specific memories ESMs are specific event memoriesESMs are episodic memories, but they often have semantic elementsEvent memories can either be brief (e.g., time you dropped your cell phone into your bath); or extended (e.g., when you went into a casino for the first time)

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Two types of general events (GEs)1. combined, averaged, cumulative memories of similar events.E.g., grocery shoppingEvents that are repetitive tend to be combined into a schema that is general but lacks detail about a specific visit to grocery store

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Two types of general events (GEs)1. combined, averaged, cumulative memories of similar events; e.g., grocery shoppingOccasionally may be specific episodic memory that takes place when engaged in a general event(e.g., time you waited in express line while woman ahead paid her bill in pennies and quarters)

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Two types of general events1. combined, averaged, cumulative memories of similar eventsEveryones life filled with numerous general events of this sortIntegration is required to identify common elements that tend to occur in order to create these types of memories

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Two types of general events2. extended events. Refers to events that consist of a long sequence of episodic memories (e.g., trip to Prague)Trip to Prague consists of several specific episodic memories seeing town hall clock; walking through square on a rainy day; seeing Kafkas family home

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Two types of general events2. extended events. Extended events require integration to join events together into a integrated narrativeExtended events often consist of the events that together achieve a particular goal and take place over a particular time

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)General events (GEs)GEs are the preferred level of processing in AMProvide cognitive economy (Rosch), maxiumum specific information for least effortUsed to aid encoding of new information and retrieve stored information from AM and episodic memory

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Working selfRefers to a monitoring function that controls the retrieval of information from AMNot a level of representation but acts on AM to retrieve information from different levels of AMWorking self includes information about goals and self images

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Working selfCorrespondence process that ensures there is a correspondence or match between our memories and particular episodic memoriesE.g., belief you are a good student, but you did poorly on one test

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Flashbulb memoriesHave been used to investigate AMFlashbulb memories are personal memories of surprising events (e.g., 9/11; assassination of JFK; October crisis)Usually studied by investigating memory for public events; advantagecan determine accuracy of memory, when it occurred etc.

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Flashbulb memoriesEarly study by Brown and Kulik (1977)Investigated memory for assassinations of MLK and JFKPeople were highly confident their memories were accurate, vivid, and detailed

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Flashbulb memoriesAfrican Americans were more likely to have flashbulb memory for MLK than European AmericansConclusion is that the more relevant the event the more likely the person is going to have a flashbulb memory

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Hirst (2009) investigated memory for 9/11, 1 and 4 years after the eventparticipants had very strong negative emotional reactions to event 1 year after the event but that they tended to forget their strong negative reactions to the event continued to remember where and when they heard the news

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Hirst findings suggest that although strong affect may be necessary for flashbulb memories to be produced, it does not appear to be necessary for their maintenance

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Accuracy of flashbulb memoriesFindings from numerous studies suggest that flashbulb memories are subject to distortion and error like other types of memoryone study by Weaver (1993) compared normal memories and flashbulb memories 1 and 3 months after event in undergradsNormal memory (details of an ordinary interaction with a roomate)

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)study by Weaver (1993) showed that normal memories and flashbulb memories did not differ in accuracy, in amount of detail;both declined over timeHowever, participants were more confident about accuracy of flashbulb memories than normal memories

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Kensinger and Schacter (2006) investigated memory of New York and Boston baseball fans for victory by Boston in game 7 of world seriesEvent interesting because same event has positive and negative affect for Boston and New York fans

  • Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory (AM)Results showed that memory for game 7 was more consistent between an initial report and a subsequent report for NY fans than Boston fans, but Boston fans were more confident about the accuracy of their memoriesConclusion positive events lead to more confidence and distortion than negative events

  • Autobiographical MemoryFunctions of Autobiographical memory (AM)Prime function of AM to ground selfAM places constraints on goals an individual can maintain and pursue realisticallyMemory and self should be congruentWhen memory and self are split and no longer constrain each other, pathologies occur

  • Autobiographical MemoryFunctions of Autobiographical memory (AM)Baddeley reported that delusional schizophrenics had beliefs that were not supported by memories or were contradicted by accessible autobiographical memoriesAlso had memories that supported their delusion (e.g., bad angel removed part of brain)

  • Autobiographical MemoryRetrieval from Autobiographical memory (AM)Conway and Pleydell-Pearse in a review concluded that two types of cue-driven processes mediate retrieval from AMDirect retrieval and generative retrieval (similar to distinction of Moscovitch and others)

  • Autobiographical MemoryRetrieval from Autobiographical memory (AM)Direct retrievalRetrieval cue directly or automatically causes patterns of activation in AMThese retrieval cues are often ineffective because they tend to activate GEs and lifetime periods not specific AMs

  • Autobiographical MemoryRetrieval from Autobiographical memory (AM)Generative retrievalIn generative retrieval the retrieval cue is elaborated and memory searched (automatically) outputs from memory are evaluated, new retrieval cues evaluated with this process continuing over a prolonged period of time

  • Autobiographical MemoryPhenomenology of Autobiographical memory (AM)Much of the processing occurs outside of conscious awarenessConway proposes that function of consciousness during AM processing is to allow for decision making and planningAM is particularly useful for planning because it contains goal attainment knowledge

  • Autobiographical MemoryRelation between Episodic memory (EM) and Autobiographical memory (AM) Conway (2009) NeuropsychologiaStructure of EMsConway argues that EMs consist of episodic elements and a conceptual frameEMs are embedded in a more complex conceptual system and become the basis of AM1 function of EM is to keep a record of progress toward short-goals

  • Autobiographical MemoryRelation between Episodic memory (EM) and Autobiographical memory (AM) Conway (2009) NeuropsychologiaOrganization of EMsargues that access to most EMs is lost after a few day

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