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Autobiographical memory functions in the recall of authentic moments

Authenticity, or being true to oneself, relies on integrating autobiographical memories into a coherent life-story. These autobiographical memories serve three adaptive functions: self-identity, social connection and directing behaviour in the future. But little is known about how memory and the subjective sense of authenticity interact. Using a between-subjects experimental design, we compared memories of authentic and inauthentic moments with controls. Memories of in/authentic events were more likely to use the self function and less likely to use the social function than controls. In addition, we noted a trend for memories of inauthentic events to be more likely than controls to use the directive function. These results highlight the importance of an ecological approach to memory as well as the potential adaptive value of recalling inauthentic experiences in developing a coherent sense of self.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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