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The retrieval of self-defining memories is associated with the activation of specific working selves

The retrieval of self-defining memories is associated with the activation of specific working selves
The retrieval of self-defining memories is associated with the activation of specific working selves
This article presents two studies that investigated the impact of the retrieval of self-defining memories on individuals' sense of self. Participants recalled positive and/or negative self-defining memories, rated memory characteristics and completed measures focusing on different self-aspects. Study 1 found that participants reported higher state self-esteem after recalling a positive memory than after recalling a negative one. They also reported lower negative self-consistency and higher state self-concept clarity and positive self-consistency, but this result became non-significant after controlling for state self-esteem. Study 2 found that participants reported higher state self-esteem, a marginally higher proportion of recreation/exploration, goals and a marginally lower proportion of achievement goals after recalling a positive memory than after recalling a negative one. They also reported a higher proportion of self-cognitions referring to emotional states after recalling memories from which they had not abstracted meaning than after recalling memories from which they had done this. These findings suggest that the retrieval of vivid, emotional and highly self-relevant memories may be accompanied by the activation of specific self-representations or working selves. They also suggest that the experience of memory-related intrusive images may temporarily influence individuals' sense of self. The implications of these findings for clinical practice are discussed.
0965-8211
233-253
Cili, Soljana
f80770d0-3552-4bec-a4f4-0cf040feb952
Stopa, Lusia
b52f29fc-d1c2-450d-b321-68f95fa22c40
Cili, Soljana
f80770d0-3552-4bec-a4f4-0cf040feb952
Stopa, Lusia
b52f29fc-d1c2-450d-b321-68f95fa22c40

Cili, Soljana and Stopa, Lusia (2014) The retrieval of self-defining memories is associated with the activation of specific working selves. Memory, 23 (2), 233-253. (doi:10.1080/09658211.2014.882955).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article presents two studies that investigated the impact of the retrieval of self-defining memories on individuals' sense of self. Participants recalled positive and/or negative self-defining memories, rated memory characteristics and completed measures focusing on different self-aspects. Study 1 found that participants reported higher state self-esteem after recalling a positive memory than after recalling a negative one. They also reported lower negative self-consistency and higher state self-concept clarity and positive self-consistency, but this result became non-significant after controlling for state self-esteem. Study 2 found that participants reported higher state self-esteem, a marginally higher proportion of recreation/exploration, goals and a marginally lower proportion of achievement goals after recalling a positive memory than after recalling a negative one. They also reported a higher proportion of self-cognitions referring to emotional states after recalling memories from which they had not abstracted meaning than after recalling memories from which they had done this. These findings suggest that the retrieval of vivid, emotional and highly self-relevant memories may be accompanied by the activation of specific self-representations or working selves. They also suggest that the experience of memory-related intrusive images may temporarily influence individuals' sense of self. The implications of these findings for clinical practice are discussed.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 January 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 February 2014
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 395505
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/395505
ISSN: 0965-8211
PURE UUID: 437dad61-a8b1-4e11-95d0-ed072f4a2765

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Date deposited: 31 May 2016 11:26
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 19:53

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