The effects of collective and personal transitions on the organization and contents of autobiographical memory in older Chinese adults
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AbstractLife transitions like war, marriage, and immigration presumably organize autobiographical memory. Yet little is known about how the magnitude of a given transition affects this mnemonic impact. To examine this issue, we collected (a) word-cued events, (b) event-dating protocols, (c) personally important events, and (d) transitional impact scores of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and important events from Chinese adults who had been adolescents during the revolution. There were three main findings. First, rusticated participants, who moved from cities to rural areas during the Cultural Revolution, dated autobiographical memories in relation to this collective transition more frequently than nonrusticated participants, with the former group reporting a greater material (but not psychological) change in their lives due to this collective transition than the latter group. Second, material change predicted the degree to which the self-nominated important events served as temporal landmarks in event dating. Third, we observed that the events that people typically considered important and those that typically served as temporal landmarks changed as a function of age but displayed the similar temporal distributions. We conclude by considering the theoretical implications of these findings.
All Author(s) ListGu X, Tse CS, Brown NR
Journal nameMemory and Cognition
Volume Number45
Issue Number8
Pages1335 - 1349
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsAutobiographical memory, Cultural Revolution, Event dating, Important memory, Transition theory
Web of Science Subject CategoriesPsychology, Experimental;Psychology

Last updated on 2020-23-11 at 01:48