Scoboria, Alan; Talarico, Jennifer M; Pascal, Lisa
Two studies examined whether belief in the occurrence of events, recollecting events, and belief in the accuracy of recollections are distinct aspects of autobiographical remembering. In Study 1, 299 student participants received a cue to recall five childhood events, after which they rated each event on these constructs and other characteristics associated with remembering. Structural equation modelling revealed that variance in ratings was best explained by the three anticipated latent variables. In Study 2, an online sample of 1026 adults recalled and rated a childhood event and an event about which they were somehow uncertain. Confirmatory modelling replicated the three latent variables. The relationship of key predictors (perceptual detail, spatial detail, re-experiencing, and event plausibility) to the latent variables confirmed the distinction. These studies demonstrate that belief in occurrence and belief in accuracy appraisals are distinct, the former indexing the truth status of the event and the latter the degree to which the event representation accurately reflects prior experience. Further, they suggest that belief in accuracy indexes the monitoring of the quality of recollections.
Traces the origins of children's autobiographical memories, discussing research on infantile amnesia and young children's memory skills. Focuses on studies of children's long-term memory for autobiographical events that investigate delays of 1-2 years and delays of 4 years or more. Reports that a few studies have documented remarkably robust…
Moore, Sally A.; Zoellner, Lori A.
Does trauma exposure impair retrieval of autobiographical memories? Many theorists have suggested that the reduced ability to access specific memories of life events, termed overgenerality, is a protective mechanism helping attenuate painful emotions associated with trauma. The authors addressed this question by reviewing 24 studies that assessed…
Hudson, Judith A.; Mayhew, Estelle M. Y.
We compared the performance of twenty 5-7-year-olds on two spatial-temporal judgment tasks. In a semantic task, children located temporal distances from today that were described using conventional, temporal terms on a spatial timeline. In an autobiographical task, children judged temporal distances on the same spatial timeline for events that…
Coluccia, Emanuele; Bianco, Carmela; Brandimonte, Maria A
A total of 449 students were tested for their event memories and autobiographical memories of hearing about the Columbia shuttle disaster of 1st February 2003. Four different groups were tested 2, 18, 27, or 51 days after the event. All participants were then re-tested after 5 months (second session) and again after 1 year (third session) from the first interview. Dissociations between consistency and confidence and between event and autobiographical memories were found. Consistency and confidence in event memories, but not in autobiographical memories, were affected by time. In contrast, repeated testing selectively enhanced autobiographical memories, in accordance with the narrative and rehearsal hypothesis of Neisser and Harsh (1992). For event memories, veridicality was inversely correlated to consistency, which in turn was inversely correlated to confidence, and mainly based on omissions. As regards veridicality, the analyses showed an increase of false memories at long time delays. Results are discussed with reference to recent studies contrasting autobiographical and event memories.
For women and their families the world over, the birth of a baby they want is a happy event. Birth is a time for joy and celebration, a time for congratulations, good wishes and gifts. Sadly, not all births are happy occasions. Birth and the days and weeks immediately following (known as the postpartum period) are a crucial time for the health and well-being of mother and child. Complications may arise and things may go wrong. In fact, most maternal deaths take place in the postpartum period. Women and their babies need all the help they can get a this time to protect them from illness and to build up their strength for the future. The special feature in this issue of "Safe motherhood" looks specifically at the provision of postpartum care. It describes the problems that mothers and babies may encounter and the services that need to be on hand both to prevent these problems from occurring and to provide solutions if they do occur. The feature in this newsletter looks at postpartum care particularly from the point of view of the health worker. But the protection of the health of women and their babies at this critical time of life cannot be achieved by health workers alone. Postpartum care is the responsibility of all of us--health workers, family members, and the wider community.
SPRENG, R. NATHAN; LEVINE, BRIAN
Knowledge and awareness of past and future autobiographical events may be mediated by a common system that supports intentional, goal-directed behavior. The purpose of this study was to assess the correspondence of past and future autobiographical thought. In Experiment 1, 300 undergraduates aged 19 years generated and assigned dates to past and future autobiographical events. The temporal distribution of past events replicated a power function for retention as has been described in past research. The intention function of future autobiographical events fit the inverse of this same power function, reflecting a temporality of past and future mental time travel centered around the present moment. In Experiment 2, these findings were extended to young, middle-aged, and older groups. These data provide empirical support for the notion that thinking outside of “now” is mediated by a common system, regardless of whether one is thinking about the past or the future. PMID:17489291
Crane, Catherine; Heron, Jon; Gunnell, David; Lewis, Glyn; Evans, Jonathan; Williams, J. Mark G.
Background Overgeneral autobiographical memory has repeatedly been identified as a risk factor for adolescent and adult psychopathology but the factors that cause such over-generality remain unclear. This study examined the association between childhood exposure to traumatic events and early adolescent overgeneral autobiographical memory in a large population sample. Methods Thirteen-year-olds, n = 5,792, participating in an ongoing longitudinal cohort study (ALSPAC) completed a written version of the Autobiographical Memory Test. Performance on this task was examined in relation to experience of traumatic events, using data recorded by caregivers close to the time of exposure. Results Results indicated that experiencing a severe event in middle childhood increased the likelihood of an adolescent falling into the lowest quartile for autobiographical memory specificity (retrieving 0 or 1 specific memory) at age 13 by approximately 60%. The association persisted after controlling for a range of potential socio-demographic confounders. Limitations Data on the traumatic event exposures was limited by the relatively restricted range of traumas examined, and the lack of contextual details surrounding both the traumatic event exposures themselves and the severity of children's post-traumatic stress reactions. Conclusions This is the largest study to date of the association between childhood trauma exposure and overgeneral autobiographical memory in adolescence. Findings suggest a modest association between exposure to traumatic events and later overgeneral autobiographical memory, a psychological variable that has been linked to vulnerability to clinical depression. PMID:24657714
Koppel, Jonathan; Berntsen, Dorthe
The reminiscence bump has been found for both autobiographical memories and memories of public events. However, there have been few comparisons of the bump across each type of event. In the current study, therefore, we compared the bump for autobiographical memories versus the bump for memories of public events. We did so between-subjects, through two cueing methods administered within-subjects, the cue word method and the important memories method. For word-cued memories, we found a similar bump from ages 5 to 19 for both types of memories. However, the bump was more pronounced for autobiographical memories. For most important memories, we found a bump from ages 20 to 29 in autobiographical memory, but little discernible age pattern for public events. Rather, specific public events (e.g., the Fall of the Berlin Wall) dominated recall, producing a chronological distribution characterised by spikes in citations according to the years these events occurred. Follow-up analyses suggested that the bump in most important autobiographical memories was a function of the cultural life script. Our findings did not yield support for any of the dominant existing accounts of the bump as underlying the bump in word-cued memories.
Nelson, Kristin L.; Moskovitz, Damian J.; Steiner, Hans
The event specificity of autobiographical memories refers to the degree to which retold memories include specific details about a unique personal experience from a variety of representational systems supported by different brain areas. This article proposes 2 text measures as indicators of event specificity: (a) a measure of temporal sequence in…
Karabenick, Stuart A.; Brackney, Barbara E.; Dansky, Jeffrey; Schippers, John; Smith, Stephanie; Stephens, Sarah; Hicks, Brian
This study examined relationships between college students' (n=94) recall of important school-related events and the students' current academic engagement. Autobiographical narratives were coded for time period (e.g., middle school), theme (e.g., achievement), context (e.g., academics, sports), and the presence of goal-directed content (e.g.,…
Turner, Martha S; Shores, E Arthur; Breen, Nora; Coltheart, Max
In déjà vu, the feeling that what we are currently experiencing we have experienced before is fleeting and is not accepted as true. In contrast, in déjà vecu or "recollective confabulation", the sense of déjà vu is persistent and convincing, and patients genuinely believe that they have lived through the current moment at some previous time. In previous reports of cases of déjà vecu, both personal events and non-personal, world events gave rise to this experience. In this paper we describe a patient whose déjà vecu experiences are entirely restricted to non-personal events, suggesting that autobiographical and non-autobiographical episodic memory processing can dissociate. We suggest that this dissociation is secondary to differences in the degree to which personal and emotional associations are formed for these two different types of event, and offer a two-factor theory of déjà vecu.
McDonough, Ian M.; Gallo, David A.
Older adults are more likely than younger adults to confuse real and imagined events in episodic memory. This deficit may be attributed to a reduction in the specific features available for recollection (i.e. retrieval success) or to a deficit in the search and decision processes operating during recollection attempts (i.e. retrieval monitoring). The present experiments used a two-phase event-generation task to manipulate retrieval success and test for age-related deficits in retrieval monitoring. In the first phase, participants generated real autobiographical events from their past and imagined plausible future events in response to cue words. We used elaboration instructions to experimentally manipulate the amount of features associated with these generated events. In the second phase administered 24 hours later, we gave recollection tests that required participants to discriminate between these previously generated past and future events in memory. As predicted, the elaboration manipulation increased the amount of features that could be recollected in association with the generated events in both age groups (including cognitive operations in Experiment 1 and perceptual details in Experiment 2). However, older adults were more likely than younger adults to confuse past and future events in memory, and critically, elaboration did not minimize these age-related confusions. These findings imply that aging impairs the ability to accurately monitor retrieval for features that are characteristic of autobiographical events, above and beyond age-related impairments in the retrieval of the recollected information itself. PMID:23795764
Bauer, Patricia J; Hättenschwiler, Nicole; Larkina, Marina
Adults and adolescents are characterised as having different perspectives on their personal or autobiographical memories. Adults are recognised as having vivid recollections of past events and as appreciating the meaning and significance of their autobiographical memories. In development, these qualities are noted as absent as late as adolescence. To evaluate the assumption of developmental differences, we directly compared autobiographical memories of adults and adolescents drawn from each of several periods in the past, using measures of narrative quality (coded independently) and participants' own subjective ratings of their memories. Adults' narratives of events from the previous year and for the "most significant" event of their lives were coded as more thematically coherent relative to those of adolescents'; the groups did not differ on thematic coherence of narratives of early-life events (ages 1-5 and 6-10 years). The ratings that adults and adolescents provided of their autobiographical memories were similar overall; differences were more apparent for early-life events than for more recent events and indicated stronger mnemonic experiences among adolescents than adults. The pattern of findings suggests that whereas adults have more sophisticated narrative tools for describing the significance of events and their relation to the corpus of autobiographical memories, adolescents as well as adults have vivid recollective experiences as well as personal and subjective perspective on the events of their lives and their memories thereof.
Brewin, Chris R; Andrews, Bernice
Using a framework that distinguishes autobiographical belief, recollective experience, and confidence in memory, we review three major paradigms used to suggest false childhood events to adults: imagination inflation, false feedback and memory implantation. Imagination inflation and false feedback studies increase the belief that a suggested event occurred by a small amount such that events are still thought unlikely to have happened. In memory implantation studies, some recollective experience for the suggested events is induced on average in 47% of participants, but only in 15% are these experiences likely to be rated as full memories. We conclude that susceptibility to false memories of childhood events appears more limited than has been suggested. The data emphasise the complex judgements involved in distinguishing real from imaginary recollections and caution against accepting investigator-based ratings as necessarily corresponding to participants' self-reports. Recommendations are made for presenting the results of these studies in courtroom settings.
Mazzoni, G A; Loftus, E F; Kirsch, I
Three experiments investigated the malleability of perceived plausibility and the subjective likelihood of occurrence of plausible and implausible events among participants who had no recollection of experiencing them. In Experiment 1, a plausibility-enhancing manipulation (reading accounts of the occurrence of events) combined with a personalized suggestion increased the perceived plausibility of the implausible event, as well as participants' ratings of the likelihood that they had experienced it. Plausibility and likelihood ratings were uncorrelated. Subsequent studies showed that the plausibility manipulation alone was sufficient to increase likelihood ratings but only if the accounts that participants read were set in a contemporary context. These data suggest that false autobiographical beliefs can be induced in clinical and forensic contexts even for initially implausible events.
Tailby, Chris; Rayner, Genevieve; Wilson, Sarah; Jackson, Graeme
Higher cognitive functions depend upon dynamically unfolding brain network interactions. Autobiographical recollection - the autonoetic re-experiencing of context rich, emotionally laden, personally experienced episodes - is an excellent example of such a process. Autobiographical recollection unfolds over time, with different cognitive processes engaged at different times throughout. In this paper we apply a recently developed analysis technique - event related independent components analysis (eICA) - to study the spatiotemporal dynamics of neural activity supporting autobiographical recollection. Participants completed an in-scanner autobiographical recollection paradigm in which the recalled episodes varied in chronological age and emotional content. By combining eICA with these cognitive manipulations we show that the brain-wide response to autobiographical recollection comprises brain networks with (i) different sensitivities to psychological aspects of the to-be-recollected material and (ii) distinct temporal profiles of activity during recollection. We identified networks with transient activations (in language and cognitive control related regions) and deactivations (in auditory and sensorimotor regions) to each autobiographical probe question, as well as networks with responses that are sustained over the course of the recollection period. These latter networks together overlapped spatially with the broader default mode network (DMN), indicating subspecialisation within the DMN. The vividness of participants' recollection was associated with the magnitude of activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and deactivation in visual association cortices. We interpret our results in the context of current theories of the spatial and temporal organisation of the human autobiographical memory system. Our findings demonstrate the utility of eICA as a tool for studying higher cognitive functions. The application of eICA to high spatial and temporal resolution
Summary Using a framework that distinguishes autobiographical belief, recollective experience, and confidence in memory, we review three major paradigms used to suggest false childhood events to adults: imagination inflation, false feedback and memory implantation. Imagination inflation and false feedback studies increase the belief that a suggested event occurred by a small amount such that events are still thought unlikely to have happened. In memory implantation studies, some recollective experience for the suggested events is induced on average in 47% of participants, but only in 15% are these experiences likely to be rated as full memories. We conclude that susceptibility to false memories of childhood events appears more limited than has been suggested. The data emphasise the complex judgements involved in distinguishing real from imaginary recollections and caution against accepting investigator‐based ratings as necessarily corresponding to participants' self‐reports. Recommendations are made for presenting the results of these studies in courtroom settings. © 2016 The Authors Applied Cognitive Psychology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:28163368
Rubin, David C.
Research on future episodic thought has produced compelling theories and results in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and clinical psychology. To integrate these using basic concepts and methods from autobiographical memory research, 76 undergraduates remembered past and imagined future positive and negative events that had or would have a major impact on them. Correlations of the online ratings of visual and auditory imagery, emotion, and other measures demonstrated that individuals used the same processes to the same extent to remember past and construct future events. These measures predicted the theoretically important metacognitive judgment of past reliving and future ‘preliving’ in similar ways. Future negative events had much higher scores than past negative events on standardized tests of reactions to traumatic events, scores in the range that would qualify for a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which was replicated (n = 52) to check for order effects. Consistent with earlier work, future events had less sensory vividness. Thus, the imagined symptoms of future events were unlikely to be caused by sensory vividness. To confirm this, 63 undergraduates produced numerous added details between two constructions of the same negative future events, removing deficits in rated vividness with no increase in the standardized tests of reactions to traumatic events. Neuroticism predicted individuals’ reactions to negative past events but did not predict imagined reactions to future events. This set of novel methods and findings are interpreted in the contexts of the literatures of episodic future thought, autobiographical memory, PTSD, and classic schema theory. PMID:23607632
Davison, Ian M.; Feeney, Aidan
We apply an autobiographical memory framework to the study of regret. Focusing on the distinction between regrets for specific and general events we argue that the temporal profile of regret, usually explained in terms of the action-inaction distinction, is predicted by models of autobiographical memory. In two studies involving participants in…
Rubin, David C.; Umanath, Sharda
An event memory is a mental construction of a scene recalled as a single occurrence. It therefore requires the hippocampus and ventral visual stream needed for all scene construction. The construction need not come with a sense of reliving or be made by a participant in the event, and it can be a summary of occurrences from more than one encoding. The mental construction, or physical rendering, of any scene must be done from a specific location and time; this introduces a ‘self’ located in space and time, which is a necessary, but need not be a sufficient, condition for a sense of reliving. We base our theory on scene construction rather than reliving because this allows the integration of many literatures and because there is more accumulated knowledge about scene construction’s phenomenology, behavior, and neural basis. Event memory differs from episodic memory in that it does not conflate the independent dimensions of whether or not a memory is relived, is about the self, is recalled voluntarily, or is based on a single encoding with whether it is recalled as a single occurrence of a scene. Thus, we argue that event memory provides a clearer contrast to semantic memory, which also can be about the self, be recalled voluntarily, and be from a unique encoding; allows for a more comprehensive dimensional account of the structure of explicit memory; and better accounts for laboratory and real world behavioral and neural results, including those from neuropsychology and neuroimaging, than does episodic memory. PMID:25330330
Burt, Christopher D. B.
Life themes, general events, and event-specific episodes, together with autobiographical knowledge, form autobiographical memory. Each of these memory structures is described, and research that has investigated the storage and retrieval of temporal information for life events, such as place in time, duration, and order, is examined. The general…
Renoult, Louis; Tanguay, Annick; Beaudry, Myriam; Tavakoli, Paniz; Rabipour, Sheida; Campbell, Kenneth; Moscovitch, Morris; Levine, Brian; Davidson, Patrick S R
Declarative memory is thought to consist of two independent systems: episodic and semantic. Episodic memory represents personal and contextually unique events, while semantic memory represents culturally-shared, acontextual factual knowledge. Personal semantics refers to aspects of declarative memory that appear to fall somewhere in between the extremes of episodic and semantic. Examples include autobiographical knowledge and memories of repeated personal events. These two aspects of personal semantics have been studied little and rarely compared to both semantic and episodic memory. We recorded the event-related potentials (ERPs) of 27 healthy participants while they verified the veracity of sentences probing four types of questions: general (i.e., semantic) facts, autobiographical facts, repeated events, and unique (i.e., episodic) events. Behavioral results showed equivalent reaction times in all 4 conditions. True sentences were verified faster than false sentences, except for unique events for which no significant difference was observed. Electrophysiological results showed that the N400 (which is classically associated with retrieval from semantic memory) was maximal for general facts and the LPC (which is classically associated with retrieval from episodic memory) was maximal for unique events. For both ERP components, the two personal semantic conditions (i.e., autobiographical facts and repeated events) systematically differed from semantic memory. In addition, N400 amplitudes also differentiated autobiographical facts from unique events. Autobiographical facts and repeated events did not differ significantly from each other but their corresponding scalp distributions differed from those associated with general facts. Our results suggest that the neural correlates of personal semantics can be distinguished from those of semantic and episodic memory, and may provide clues as to how unique events are transformed to semantic memory.
Rochas, Vincent; Gelmini, Lauriane; Krolak-Salmon, Pierre; Poulet, Emmanuel; Saoud, Mohamed; Brunelin, Jerome; Bediou, Benoit
It has been suggested that the left pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) could be implicated in facial emotion expression and recognition, especially for laughter/happiness. To test this hypothesis, in a single-blind, randomized crossover study, we investigated the impact of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on performances of 18 healthy participants during a facial emotion recognition task. Using a neuronavigation system based on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging of each participant, TMS (5 pulses, 10 Hz) was delivered over the pre-SMA or the vertex (control condition) in an event-related fashion after the presentation of happy, fear, and angry faces. Compared with performances during vertex stimulation, we observed that TMS applied over the left pre-SMA specifically disrupted facial happiness recognition (FHR). No difference was observed between the 2 conditions neither for fear and anger recognition nor for reaction times (RT). Thus, interfering with pre-SMA activity with event-related TMS after stimulus presentation produced a selective impairment in the recognition of happy faces. These findings provide new insights into the functional implication of the pre-SMA in FHR, which may rely on the mirror properties of pre-SMA neurons.
Koppel, Jonathan; Brown, Adam D; Stone, Charles B; Coman, Alin; Hirst, William
We examined and compared the predictors of autobiographical memory (AM) consistency and event memory accuracy across two publicly documented yet disparate public events: the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on January 20th 2009, and the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, off the coast of Manhattan, on January 15th 2009. We tracked autobiographical and event memories for both events, with assessments taking place within 2½ weeks of both events (Survey 1), and again between 3½ and 4 months after both events (Survey 2). In a series of stepwise regressions we found that the psychological variables of recalled emotional intensity and personal importance/centrality predicted AM consistency and event memory accuracy for the inauguration. Conversely, the rehearsal variables of covert rehearsal and media attention predicted, respectively, AM consistency and event memory accuracy for the plane landing. We conclude from these findings that different factors may underlie autobiographical and event memory for personally and culturally significant events (e.g., the inauguration), relative to noteworthy, yet less culturally significant, events (e.g., the plane landing).
Harris, Celia B; Barnier, Amanda J; Sutton, John; Keil, Paul G
Conversations about the past can involve voicing and silencing; processes of validation and invalidation that shape recall. In this experiment we examined the products and processes of remembering a significant autobiographical event in conversation with others. Following the death of Australian celebrity Steve Irwin, in an adapted version of the collaborative recall paradigm, 69 participants described and rated their memories for hearing of his death. Participants then completed a free recall phase where they either discussed the event in groups of three or wrote about the event on their own. Finally, participants completed the original questionnaire again, both 1 week and 1 month after the free recall phase. Discussion influenced later memories for hearing of Irwin's death, particularly memories for emotion and shock. Qualitative analysis of the free recall phase suggested that during conversation a shared understanding of the event developed, but that emotional reactions to the event were silenced in ways that minimised the event's impact. These findings are discussed in terms of the processes and consequences of sharing public and personal memories in conversation.
Demblon, Julie; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; D'Argembeau, Arnaud
When remembering the past or envisioning the future, events often come to mind in organized sequences or stories rather than in isolation from one another. The aim of the present fMRI study was to investigate the neural correlates of such event clusters. Participants were asked to consider pairs of specific past or future events: in one condition, the two events were part of the same event cluster (i.e., they were thematically and/or causally related to each other), whereas in another condition the two events only shared a surface feature (i.e., their location); a third condition was also included, in which the two events were unrelated to each other. The results showed that the processing of past and future events that were part of a same cluster was associated with higher activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), rostrolateral PFC, and left lateral temporal and parietal regions, compared to the two other conditions. Furthermore, functional connectivity analyses revealed an increased coupling between these cortical regions. These findings suggest that largely similar processes are involved in organizing events in clusters for the past and the future. The medial and rostrolateral PFC might play a pivotal role in mediating the integration of specific events with conceptual autobiographical knowledge 'stored' in more posterior regions. Through this integrative process, this set of brain regions might contribute to the attribution of an overarching meaning to representations of specific past and future events, by contextualizing them with respect to personal goals and general knowledge about one's life story.
Holland, Alisha C.; Kensinger, Elizabeth A.
Autobiographical memory encompasses our recollections of specific, personal events. In this article, we review the interactions between emotion and autobiographical memory, focusing on two broad ways in which these interactions occur. First, the emotional content of an experience can influence the way in which the event is remembered. Second, emotions and emotional goals experienced at the time of autobiographical retrieval can influence the information recalled. We discuss the behavioral manifestations of each of these types of interactions and describe the neural mechanisms that may support those interactions. We discuss how findings from the clinical literature (e.g., regarding depression) and the social psychology literature (e.g., on emotion regulation) might inform future investigations of the interplay between the emotions experienced at the time of retrieval and the memories recalled, and we present ideas for future research in this domain.
Holland, Alisha C.; Kensinger, Elizabeth A.
Autobiographical memory encompasses our recollections of specific, personal events. In this article, we review the interactions between emotion and autobiographical memory, focusing on two broad ways in which these interactions occur. First, the emotional content of an experience can influence the way in which the event is remembered. Second, emotions and emotional goals experienced at the time of autobiographical retrieval can influence the information recalled. We discuss the behavioral manifestations of each of these types of interactions and describe the neural mechanisms that may support those interactions. We discuss how findings from the clinical literature (e.g., regarding depression) and the social psychology literature (e.g., on emotion regulation) might inform future investigations of the interplay between the emotions experienced at the time of retrieval and the memories recalled, and we present ideas for future research in this domain. PMID:20374933
Autobiographical memory (AM) defines the memory systems that encode, consolidate, and retrieve personal events and facts, AM is strongly related to self-perception and self representation. We review here the neural correlates of AM retrieval. AM retrieval encompasses a large neural network including the prefrontal, temporal, and parietal cortex, and limbic structures. All these regions subserve the cognitive processes (episodic remembering, cognitive control, self-processing, and scene construction) at play during memory retrieval. We emphasize the specific role of medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus in self-processing during autobiographical memory retrieval. Overall, these data call for further studies in psychiatric patients, to investigate the neural underpinnings of autobiographical memory and self-representation in mental disorders.
Pacheco-Unguetti, Antonia Pilar; Parmentier, Fabrice B R
Rare and unexpected changes (deviants) in an otherwise repeated stream of task-irrelevant auditory distractors (standards) capture attention and impair behavioural performance in an ongoing visual task. Recent evidence indicates that this effect is increased by sadness in a task involving neutral stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that such effect may not be limited to negative emotions but reflect a general depletion of attentional resources by examining whether a positive emotion (happiness) would increase deviance distraction too. Prior to performing an auditory-visual oddball task, happiness or a neutral mood was induced in participants by means of the exposure to music and the recollection of an autobiographical event. Results from the oddball task showed significantly larger deviance distraction following the induction of happiness. Interestingly, the small amount of distraction typically observed on the standard trial following a deviant trial (post-deviance distraction) was not increased by happiness. We speculate that happiness might interfere with the disengagement of attention from the deviant sound back towards the target stimulus (through the depletion of cognitive resources and/or mind wandering) but help subsequent cognitive control to recover from distraction.
Dijkstra, Katinka; Kaschak, Michael P.; Zwaan, Rolf A.
We assessed potential facilitation of congruent body posture on access to and retention of autobiographical memories in younger and older adults. Response times were shorter when body positions during prompted retrieval of autobiographical events were similar to the body positions in the original events than when body position was incongruent.…
Missana, Manuela; Rajhans, Purva; Atkinson, Anthony P.; Grossmann, Tobias
Responding to others’ emotional body expressions is an essential social skill in humans. Adults readily detect emotions from body postures, but it is unclear whether infants are sensitive to emotional body postures. We examined 8-month-old infants’ brain responses to emotional body postures by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) to happy and fearful bodies. Our results revealed two emotion-sensitive ERP components: body postures evoked an early N290 at occipital electrodes and a later Nc at fronto-central electrodes that were enhanced in response to fearful (relative to happy) expressions. These findings demonstrate that: (a) 8-month-old infants discriminate between static emotional body postures; and (b) similar to infant emotional face perception, the sensitivity to emotional body postures is reflected in early perceptual (N290) and later attentional (Nc) neural processes. This provides evidence for an early developmental emergence of the neural processes involved in the discrimination of emotional body postures. PMID:25104929
Easterlin, Richard A
What do social survey data tell us about the determinants of happiness? First, that the psychologists' setpoint model is questionable. Life events in the nonpecuniary domain, such as marriage, divorce, and serious disability, have a lasting effect on happiness, and do not simply deflect the average person temporarily above or below a setpoint given by genetics and personality. Second, mainstream economists' inference that in the pecuniary domain "more is better," based on revealed preference theory, is problematic. An increase in income, and thus in the goods at one's disposal, does not bring with it a lasting increase in happiness because of the negative effect on utility of hedonic adaptation and social comparison. A better theory of happiness builds on the evidence that adaptation and social comparison affect utility less in the nonpecuniary than pecuniary domains. Because individuals fail to anticipate the extent to which adaptation and social comparison undermine expected utility in the pecuniary domain, they allocate an excessive amount of time to pecuniary goals, and shortchange nonpecuniary ends such as family life and health, reducing their happiness. There is need to devise policies that will yield better-informed individual preferences, and thereby increase individual and societal well-being.
Agosta, Sara; Sartori, Giuseppe
The autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT; Sartori et al., 2008) is a variant of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998) that is used to establish whether an autobiographical memory is encoded in the respondent's mind/brain. More specifically, with the aIAT, it is possible to evaluate which one of two autobiographical events is true. The method consists of a computerized categorization task. The aIAT includes stimuli belonging to four categories, two of them are logical categories and are represented by sentences that are always true (e.g., I am in front of a computer) or always false (e.g., I am climbing a mountain) for the respondent; two other categories are represented by alternative versions of an autobiographical event (e.g., I went to Paris for Christmas, or I went to New York for Christmas), only one of which is true. The true autobiographical event is identified because, in a combined block, it gives rise to faster reaction times when it shares the same motor response with true sentences. Here, we reviewed all the validation experiments and found more than 90% accuracy in detecting the true memory. We show that agreement in identifying the true autobiographical memory of the same aIAT repeated twice is, on average, more than 90%, and we report a technique for estimating accuracy associated with a single classification based on the D-IAT value, which may be used in single subject's investigations. We show that the aIAT might be used to identify also true intentions and reasons and conclude with a series of guidelines for building an effective aIAT.
Belfi, Amy M; Karlan, Brett; Tranel, Daniel
Music is strongly intertwined with memories-for example, hearing a song from the past can transport you back in time, triggering the sights, sounds, and feelings of a specific event. This association between music and vivid autobiographical memory is intuitively apparent, but the idea that music is intimately tied with memories, seemingly more so than other potent memory cues (e.g., familiar faces), has not been empirically tested. Here, we compared memories evoked by music to those evoked by famous faces, predicting that music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) would be more vivid. Participants listened to 30 songs, viewed 30 faces, and reported on memories that were evoked. Memories were transcribed and coded for vividness as in Levine, B., Svoboda, E., Hay, J. F., Winocur, G., & Moscovitch, M. [2002. Aging and autobiographical memory: Dissociating episodic from semantic retrieval. Psychology and Aging, 17, 677-689]. In support of our hypothesis, MEAMs were more vivid than autobiographical memories evoked by faces. MEAMs contained a greater proportion of internal details and a greater number of perceptual details, while face-evoked memories contained a greater number of external details. Additionally, we identified sex differences in memory vividness: for both stimulus categories, women retrieved more vivid memories than men. The results show that music not only effectively evokes autobiographical memories, but that these memories are more vivid than those evoked by famous faces.
Autobiographical reasoning is the activity of creating relations between different parts of one's past, present, and future life and one's personality and development. It embeds personal memories in a culturally, temporally, causally, and thematically coherent life story. Prototypical autobiographical arguments are presented. Culture and socializing interactions shape the development of autobiographical reasoning especially in late childhood and adolescence. Situated at the intersection of cognitive and narrative development and autobiographical memory, autobiographical reasoning contributes to the development of personality and identity, is instrumental in efforts to cope with life events, and helps to create a shared history.
Reese, Elaine; Jack, Fiona; White, Naomi
Adolescents (N = 46; M = 12.46 years) who had previously participated in a longitudinal study of autobiographical memory development narrated their early childhood memories, interpreted life events, and completed a family history questionnaire and language assessment. Three distinct components of adolescent memory emerged: (1) age of earliest…
St Jacques, Peggy L; Conway, Martin A; Cabeza, Roberto
Gender differences are frequently observed in autobiographical memory (AM). However, few studies have investigated the neural basis of potential gender differences in AM. In the present functional MRI (fMRI) study we investigated gender differences in AMs elicited using dynamic visual images vs verbal cues. We used a novel technology called a SenseCam, a wearable device that automatically takes thousands of photographs. SenseCam differs considerably from other prospective methods of generating retrieval cues because it does not disrupt the ongoing experience. This allowed us to control for potential gender differences in emotional processing and elaborative rehearsal, while manipulating how the AMs were elicited. We predicted that males would retrieve more richly experienced AMs elicited by the SenseCam images vs the verbal cues, whereas females would show equal sensitivity to both cues. The behavioural results indicated that there were no gender differences in subjective ratings of reliving, importance, vividness, emotion, and uniqueness, suggesting that gender differences in brain activity were not due to differences in these measures of phenomenological experience. Consistent with our predictions, the fMRI results revealed that males showed a greater difference in functional activity associated with the rich experience of SenseCam vs verbal cues, than did females.
Waters, Theodore E A
Researchers have proposed that autobiographical memory serves three basic functions in everyday life: self-definition, social connection, and directing behaviour (e.g., Bluck, Alea, Habermas, & Rubin, 2005). However, no research has examined relations between the functions of autobiographical memory and healthy functioning (i.e., psychological wellbeing). The present research examined the relations between the self, social, and directive functions of autobiographical memory and three factors of psychological wellbeing in single and recurring autobiographical memories. A total of 103 undergraduate students were recruited and provided ratings of each function for four autobiographical memories (two single, two recurring events). Results found that individuals who use their autobiographical memories to serve self, social, and directive functions reported higher levels of Purpose and Communion and Positive Relationships, and that these relations differ slightly by event type.
Morrissey, M.M.; Savage, W.Z.; Wieczorek, G.F.
The July 10, 1996, Happy Isles rockfall in Yosemite National Park, California, released 23,000 to 38,000 m3 of granite in four separate events. The impacts of the first two events which involved a 550-m free fall, generated seismic waves and atmospheric pressure waves (air blasts). We focus on the dynamic behavior of the second air blast that downed over 1000 trees, destroyed a bridge, demolished a snack bar, and caused one fatality and several injuries. Calculated velocities for the air blast from a two-phase, finite difference model are compared to velocities estimated from tree damage. From tornadic studies of tree damage, the air blast is estimated to have traveled <108-120 m/s within 50 m from the impact and decreased to <10-20 m/s within 500 m from the impact. The numerical model simulates the two-dimensional propagation of an air blast through a dusty atmosphere with initial conditions defined by the impact velocity and pressure. The impact velocity (105-107 m/s) is estimated from the Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program that simulates rockfall trajectories. The impact pressure (0.5 MPa) is constrained by the kinetic energy of the impact (1010-1012 J) estimated from the seismic energy generated by the impact. Results from the air blast simulations indicate that the second Happy Isles air blast (weak shock wave) traveled with an initial velocity above the local sound speed. The size and location of the first impact are thought to have injected <50 wt % dust into the atmosphere. This amount of dust lowered the local atmospheric sound speed to ???220 m/s. The discrepancy between calculated velocity data and field estimated velocity data (???220 m/s versus ???110 m/s) is attributed to energy dissipated by the downing of trees and additional entrainment of debris into the atmosphere not included in the calculations. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.
Morrissey, M. M.; Savage, W. Z.; Wieczorek, G. F.
The July 10, 1996, Happy Isles rockfall in Yosemite National Park, California, released 23,000 to 38,000 m3 of granite in four separate events. The impacts of the first two events which involved a 550-m free fall, generated seismic waves and atmospheric pressure waves (air blasts). We focus on the dynamic behavior of the second air blast that downed over 1000 trees, destroyed a bridge, demolished a snack bar, and caused one fatality and several injuries. Calculated velocities for the air blast from a two-phase, finite difference model are compared to velocities estimated from tree damage. From tornadic studies of tree damage, the air blast is estimated to have traveled <108-120 m/s within 50 m from the impact and decreased to <10-20 m/s within 500 m from the impact. The numerical model simulates the two-dimensional propagation of an air blast through a dusty atmosphere with initial conditions defined by the impact velocity and pressure. The impact velocity (105-107 m/s) is estimated from the Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program that simulates rockfall trajectories. The impact pressure (0.5 MPa) is constrained by the kinetic energy of the impact (1010-1012 J) estimated from the seismic energy generated by the impact. Results from the air blast simulations indicate that the second Happy Isles air blast (weak shock wave) traveled with an initial velocity above the local sound speed. The size and location of the first impact are thought to have injected <50 wt% dust into the atmosphere. This amount of dust lowered the local atmospheric sound speed to ˜220 m/s. The discrepancy between calculated velocity data and field estimated velocity data (˜220 m/s versus ˜110 m/s) is attributed to energy dissipated by the downing of trees and additional entrainment of debris into the atmosphere not included in the calculations.
Autobiographical reasoning is closely related to the development of normative ideas about life as measured by the cultural life script. The acquisition of a life script is an important prerequisite for autobiographical reasoning because children learn through the life script which events are expected to go into their life story, and when to expect…
Seidlitz, L; Diener, E
Three studies examined the following hypotheses for the relation of subjective well-being (SWB) with memory for positive versus negative life events: (a) differences in retrieval mood, (b) the incidence of positive and negative events, (c) the interpretation of events, and (d) frequency of rehearsal. In Studies 1 (n = 420) and 2 (n = 94), the partial correlation of retrieval mood with recall, controlling for SWB, was trivial, suggesting that mood had little or no effect on recall. Endorsement frequencies of positive minus negative concrete events and interpretive events on checklists in Studies 2 and 3 each correlated with SWB (ps < .001), suggesting that both incidence and interpretation contributed to the recall differences. In Study 3, the recall of 55 Ss from Study 2 was retested after an 11-month interval. The lack of an interaction between SWB and recall change suggested that rehearsal did not contribute to the recall differences.
This is a review of two bodies of research conducted by myself and my colleagues that is relevant to child witness issues, namely childhood amnesia and children's eyewitness memory for stressful events. Although considerable research over the years has investigated the phenomenon of childhood amnesia in adults, only recently has it begun to be…
Williams, J. Mark G.; Barnhofer, Thorsten; Crane, Catherine; Herman, Dirk; Raes, Filip; Watkins, Ed; Dalgleish, Tim
The authors review research showing that when recalling autobiographical events, many emotionally disturbed patients summarize categories of events rather than retrieving a single episode. The mechanisms underlying such overgeneral memory are examined, with a focus on M. A. Conway and C. W. Pleydell-Pearce's (2000) hierarchical search model of…
Haddad, Anneke D.M.; Harmer, Catherine J.; Williams, J. Mark G.
Background and objectives Depressed individuals have difficulty remembering specific autobiographical events. These deficits often persist after recovery of mood symptoms, but the mechanisms underlying impaired memory specificity in recovered depressed individuals remain unclear. Here, we sought to examine whether performance on two cognitive measures might be related to deficits in autobiographical memory retrieval in individuals with a history of depression. Methods Twenty-four recovered depressed women (12 with more than one previous episode) and 24 never depressed women completed two cognitive measures (Digit Span and a Number Generation Task) and tests of autobiographical memory recall. Results Overall, the recovered depressed women did not show deficits in autobiographical retrieval. However, those with more than one previous episode had impaired retrieval of categorical autobiographical memories. Moreover, depression history moderated the relationship between Digit Span and retrieval of categoric autobiographical memories such that within the whole recovered depressed group (but not the never depressed group), those with lower Digit Span also had poorer retrieval of categorical autobiographical memories. Limitations Our sample size was small and included only women. Moreover, order effects may have been a significant factor. Conclusions These findings support the notion that working memory is an important factor in impairing autobiographical memory in those who have recovered from depression, but suggest a complex relationship with autobiographical recall. PMID:24374578
The author has been thinking a lot about happiness lately. This started in earnest when she watched researcher Shawn Achor's 7-minute TEDX talk, entitled "The Happy Secret to Better Work," with parents and staff. Afterward, she was compelled to buy his book to learn more. "The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That…
Ge, Ruiyang; Fu, Yan; Wang, DaHua; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying
Autobiographical memory is the ability to recollect past events from one's own life. Both emotional tone and memory remoteness can influence autobiographical memory retrieval along the time axis of one's life. Although numerous studies have been performed to investigate brain regions involved in retrieving processes of autobiographical memory, the effect of emotional tone and memory age on autobiographical memory retrieval remains to be clarified. Moreover, whether the involvement of hippocampus in consolidation of autobiographical events is time dependent or independent has been controversial. In this study, we investigated the effect of memory remoteness (factor1: recent and remote) and emotional valence (factor2: positive and negative) on neural correlates underlying autobiographical memory by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Although all four conditions activated some common regions known as "core" regions in autobiographical memory retrieval, there are some other regions showing significantly different activation for recent versus remote and positive versus negative memories. In particular, we found that bilateral hippocampal regions were activated in the four conditions regardless of memory remoteness and emotional valence. Thus, our study confirmed some findings of previous studies and provided further evidence to support the multi-trace theory which believes that the role of hippocampus involved in autobiographical memory retrieval is time-independent and permanent in memory consolidation.
Pathman, Thanujeni; Doydum, Ayzit; Bauer, Patricia J.
Remembering temporal information associated with personal past events is critical. Yet little is known about the development of temporal order memory for naturally occurring events. In the current research, 8- to 10-year-old children and adults took photographs daily for 4 weeks. Later, they participated in a primacy/recency task (were shown 2 of…
Ogle, Christin M.; Block, Stephanie D.; Harris, LaTonya S.; Goodman, Gail S.; Pineda, Annarheen; Timmer, Susan; Urquiza, Anthony; Saywitz, Karen J.
The present study examined the specificity of autobiographical memory in adolescents and adults with versus without child sexual abuse (CSA) histories. Eighty-five participants, approximately half of whom per age group had experienced CSA, were tested on the Autobiographical Memory Interview. Individual difference measures, including for trauma-related psychopathology, were also administered. Findings revealed developmental differences in the relation between autobiographical memory specificity and CSA. Even with depression statistically controlled, reduced memory specificity in CSA victims relative to controls was observed among adolescents but not among adults. A higher number of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder criteria met predicted more specific childhood memories in participants who reported CSA as their most traumatic life event. These findings contribute to the scientific understanding of childhood trauma and autobiographical memory functioning and underscore the importance of considering the role of age and degree of traumatization within the study of autobiographical memory. PMID:23627947
Humphries, Clare; Jobson, Laura
This study investigated the influence of culture and trauma history on autobiographical memory specificity. Chinese international and British undergraduate university students (N=64) completed the autobiographical memory test, Hopkins symptom checklist-25, twenty statements test, trauma history questionnaire, and impact of events scale-revised. The results indicated that the British group provided significantly more specific memories than the Chinese group. The high trauma exposure group provided significantly fewer specific autobiographical memories than the low trauma exposure group. The interaction was not significant. The findings suggest that even in cultures where specificity is not as evident in autobiographical remembering style, trauma exposure appears to exert similar influence on autobiographical memory specificity.
Allé, Mélissa C; Manning, Liliann; Potheegadoo, Jevita; Coutelle, Romain; Danion, Jean-Marie; Berna, Fabrice
Autobiographical memory, central in human cognition and every day functioning, enables past experienced events to be remembered. A variety of disorders affecting autobiographical memory are characterized by the difficulty of retrieving specific detailed memories of past personal events. Owing to the impact of autobiographical memory impairment on patients' daily life, it is necessary to better understand these deficits and develop relevant methods to improve autobiographical memory. The primary objective of the present systematic PRISMA review was to give an overview of the first empirical evidence of the potential of wearable cameras in autobiographical memory investigation in remediating autobiographical memory impairments. The peer-reviewed literature published since 2004 on the usefulness of wearable cameras in research protocols was explored in 3 databases (PUBMED, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar). Twenty-eight published studies that used a protocol involving wearable camera, either to explore wearable camera functioning and impact on daily life, or to investigate autobiographical memory processing or remediate autobiographical memory impairment, were included. This review analyzed the potential of wearable cameras for 1) investigating autobiographical memory processes in healthy volunteers without memory impairment and in clinical populations, and 2) remediating autobiographical memory in patients with various kinds of memory disorder. Mechanisms to account for the efficacy of wearable cameras are also discussed. The review concludes by discussing certain limitations inherent to using cameras, and new research perspectives. Finally, ethical issues raised by this new technology are considered.
Howe, Mark L.; Courage, Mary L.; Edison, Shannon C.
The authors review competing theories concerning the emergence and early development of autobiographical memory. It is argued that the differences between these accounts, although important, may be more apparent than real. The crux of these disagreements lies not in "what" processes are important, but rather, the role these different processes…
Neshat Doost, Hamid Taher; Yule, William; Kalantari, Mehrdad; Rezvani, Sayed Rohollah; Dyregrov, Atle; Jobson, Laura
This study investigated the effect of bereavement (father death due to war in Afghanistan) on autobiographical memory specificity in Afghan adolescents living in Iran. Participants consisted of bereaved (n=70) and non-bereaved (n=33) Afghan adolescents. The measures included Farsi versions of the Autobiographical Memory Test, Mood and Feeling Questionnaire, Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, and Impact of Event Scale. Results indicated that the bereaved group retrieved a significantly lower proportion of specific memories and a significantly greater proportion of extended and categoric memories than the non-bereaved group. Additionally, depression symptoms and reduced autobiographical memory specificity were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that bereaved adolescents have impaired autobiographical memory specificity.
Bird, Amy; Reese, Elaine
According to autobiographical memory theorists, past event conversations provide children with a framework for evaluating and connecting past events into a coherent autobiography (R. Fivush, 1994; K. Nelson, 1993; M. K. Welch-Ross, 1995). Two studies were conducted to empirically examine the association between past event conversation style and an…
Manes, F; Hodges, J R; Graham, K S; Zeman, A
Although problems with remembering significant events from the past (e.g. holidays, weddings, etc.) have been reported previously in patients with transient epileptic amnesia (TEA), to date there have been no detailed studies of autobiographical memory in patients with this disorder. To investigate this issue, a 68-year-old right-handed man (R.G.) who suffered from TEA and reported significant autobiographical memory problems was tested on a battery of neuropsychological tests of anterograde and remote memory. Tests of autobiographical memory revealed that R.G. was unable to evoke detailed autobiographical recollections from a substantial part of his life. By contrast, he performed well on tests of new learning and general knowledge and possessed good personal semantic information about his past. In summary, a distinct form of autobiographical amnesia, which is characterized by loss of experiential remembering of significant events, may be associated with TEA. It is proposed that the autobiographical memory deficit seen in the disorder may result from the progressive erasure of cortically based memory representations. This case adds to growing evidence for a dissociation between mechanisms subserving anterograde memory and those required to evoke remote episodic memories.
Winter, Robin O.
Family Medicine residency programs in the United States are required to promote resident well-being. This article describes how one residency does this by teaching the concepts of Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness developed by Dr. Martin Seligman utilizing a multi-media curriculum. As part of this curriculum, residents listen to the song…
LePort, Aurora K.R.; Mattfeld, Aaron T.; Dickinson-Anson, Heather; Fallon, James H.; Stark, Craig E.L.; Kruggel, Frithjof; Cahill, Larry; McGaugh, James L.
A single case study recently documented one woman’s ability to recall accurately vast amounts of autobiographical information, spanning most of her lifetime, without the use of practiced mnemonics (Parker, Cahill, & McGaugh, 2006). The current study reports findings based on eleven participants expressing this same memory ability, now referred to as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). Participants were identified and subsequently characterized based on screening for memory of public events. They were then tested for personal autobiographical memories as well as for memory assessed by laboratory memory tests. Additionally, whole-brain structural MRI scans were obtained. Results indicated that HSAM participants performed significantly better at recalling public as well as personal autobiographical events as well as the days and dates on which these events occurred. However, their performance was comparable to age- and sex-matched controls on most standard laboratory memory tests. Neuroanatomical results identified nine structures as being morphologically different from those of control participants. The study of HSAM may provide new insights into the neurobiology of autobiographical memory. PMID:22652113
Thaiss, Laila; Petrides, Michael
Previous research has raised questions regarding the necessity of the frontal cortex in autobiographical memory and the role that it plays in actively retrieving contextual information associated with personally relevant events. Autobiographical memory was studied in patients with unilateral excisions restricted to the frontal cortex or temporal lobe involving the amygdalo-hippocampal region and in normal controls using an event-sampling method. We examined accuracy of free recall, use of strategies during retrieval and memory for specific aspects of the autobiographical events, including temporal order. Patients with temporal lobe excisions were impaired in autobiographical recall. By contrast, patients with frontal cortical excisions exhibited normal autobiographical recall but were less likely to use temporal order spontaneously to organize event retrieval. Instruction to organize retrieval by temporal order failed to improve recall in temporal lobe patients and increased the incidence of plausible intrusion errors in left temporal patients. In contrast, patients with frontal cortical excisions now surpassed control subjects in recall of autobiographical events. Furthermore, the retrieval accuracy for the temporal order of diary events was not impaired in these patients. In a subsequent cued recall test, temporal lobe patients were impaired in their memory for the details of the diary events and their context. In conclusion, a basic impairment in autobiographical memory (including memory for temporal context) results from damage to the temporal lobe and not the frontal cortex. Patients with frontal excisions fail to use organizational strategies spontaneously to aid retrieval but can use these effectively if instructed to do so.
Lin, Wen-Jing; Horner, Aidan J.; Burgess, Neil
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found that the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was parametrically modulated by the affective values of items in participants’ memories when they were recalling and evaluating these items. An unrelated modulation by the participant’s familiarity with the items was also observed. During retrieval of the event, the BOLD signal in the same region was modulated by the personal significance and emotional intensity of the memory, which was correlated with the values of the items within them. These results support the idea that vmPFC processes self-relevant information, and suggest that it is involved in representing the personal emotional values of the elements comprising autobiographical memories. PMID:27338616
Kleim, Birgit; Griffith, James W; Gäbler, Ira; Schützwohl, Matthias; Maercker, Andreas
Traumatic experiences may dramatically influence later behavior and cognitive processing. This study investigated how trauma shapes the way that we remember personal experiences. Specifically, we investigated overgeneral autobiographical memory, which is the tendency to remember autobiographical events in an overgeneral rather than specific way. We administered the Autobiographical Memory Test (Williams & Broadbent,) to 86 survivors of political imprisonment 37 years after they had been released from imprisonment. Depression and posttraumatic stress disorder were not significantly related to overgeneral autobiographical memory. Significant overgeneral autobiographical memory correlates included embitterment, r = -.28, and being released to former East Germany, d = 0.67. Survivors with social support, r = .30 were better able to recall specific memories. Certain trauma characteristics and the way the trauma is processed may thus influence how personal memories are later remembered. This study also furthers the understanding of memory processes in political prisoners, who are not commonly studied in psychological research.
Hipwell, Alison E.; Sapotichne, Brenna; Klostermann, Susan; Battista, Deena; Keenan, Kate
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (AM), the tendency to recall categories of events when asked to provide specific instances from one's life, is purported to be a marker of depression vulnerability that develops in childhood. Although early adolescence is a period of risk for depression onset especially among girls, prospective examination of…
Scoboria, Alan; Pascal, Lisa
Recent studies of metamemory appraisals implicated in autobiographical remembering have established distinct roles for judgments of occurrence, recollection, and accuracy for past events. In studies involving everyday remembering, measures of recollection and accuracy correlate highly (>.85). Thus although their measures are structurally…
Yamamoto, Kohsuke; Toyota, Hiroshi
The relationship between individual differences in Emotional Intelligence (EI) and self-reported arousal from remembering an autobiographical emotional or neutral event was examined. Participants (N = 235; 75 men; M age = 18.7 yr., SD = 0.9, range = 18-22) were required to complete the Japanese version of the Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire to assess EI. Participants were then asked to recall personal episodes from autobiographical memory, and then completed the Memory Characteristics Questionnaire (MCQ). A group with high EI-rated, emotionally neutral episodes higher than did a group with low EI on several MCQ subscales: sound, participants, overall memory, and doubt/certainty. However, differences in ratings between the two groups were not observed for emotionally positive episodes. These results suggest that high EI is related to more effective use of weak retrieval cues when recalling neutral autobiographical memories.
Ganis, Giorgio; Schendan, Haline E.
Electrophysiology-based concealed information tests (CIT) try to determine whether somebody possesses concealed information about a crime-related item (probe) by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) between this item and comparison items (irrelevants). Although the broader field is sometimes referred to as “memory detection,” little attention has been paid to the precise type of underlying memory involved. This study begins addressing this issue by examining the key distinction between semantic and episodic memory in the autobiographical domain within a CIT paradigm. This study also addresses the issue of whether multiple repetitions of the items over the course of the session habituate the brain responses. Participants were tested in a 3-stimulus CIT with semantic autobiographical probes (their own date of birth) and episodic autobiographical probes (a secret date learned just before the study). Results dissociated these two memory conditions on several ERP components. Semantic probes elicited a smaller frontal N2 than episodic probes, consistent with the idea that the frontal N2 decreases with greater pre-existing knowledge about the item. Likewise, semantic probes elicited a smaller central N400 than episodic probes. Semantic probes also elicited a larger P3b than episodic probes because of their richer meaning. In contrast, episodic probes elicited a larger late positive complex (LPC) than semantic probes, because of the recent episodic memory associated with them. All these ERPs showed a difference between probes and irrelevants in both memory conditions, except for the N400, which showed a difference only in the semantic condition. Finally, although repetition affected the ERPs, it did not reduce the difference between probes and irrelevants. These findings show that the type of memory associated with a probe has both theoretical and practical importance for CIT research. PMID:23355816
Wittekind, Charlotte E; Jelinek, Lena; Moritz, Steffen; Muhtz, Christoph; Berna, Fabrice
The present study examined potential transgenerational effects of trauma on autobiographical memory in adult offspring of elderly participants with and without PTSD symptoms who were exposed to an early trauma during childhood. As traumatization is associated with reduced memory specificity for past events, we hypothesized that offspring of traumatized parents might be exposed to a less elaborative narrative style, which, in turn, might result in less specific autobiographical memories in the offspring. Results show that autobiographical memory specificity did not differ significantly between adult offspring of traumatized elderly participants with PTSD symptoms, without PTSD symptoms, and non-traumatized elderly participants.
Ford, Jaclyn Hennessey; Addis, Donna Rose; Giovanello, Kelly S.
Autobiographical memories are characterized by a range of emotions and emotional reactions. Recent research has demonstrated that differences in emotional valence (positive v. negative emotion) and arousal (the degree of emotional intensity) differentially influence the retrieved memory narrative. Although the mnemonic effects of valence and arousal have both been heavily studied, it is currently unclear whether the effects of emotional arousal are equivalent for positive and negative autobiographical events. In the current study, multilevel models were used to examine differential effects emotional valence and arousal on the richness of autobiographical memory retrieval both between and within subjects. Thirty-four young adults were asked to retrieve personal autobiographical memories associated with popular musical cues and to rate the valence, arousal, and richness of these events. The multilevel analyses identified independent influences of valence and intensity upon retrieval characteristics at the within and between subject levels. In addition, the within subject interactions between valence and arousal highlighted differential effects of arousal for positive and negative memories. These findings have important implications for future studies of emotion and memory, highlighting the importance of considering both valence and arousal when examining the role emotion plays in the richness of memory representation. PMID:22873402
Kleim, Birgit; Wallott, Franziska; Ehlers, Anke
This study tested the hypothesis that trauma memories are disjointed from other autobiographical material in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Assault survivors with (n = 25) and without PTSD (n = 49) completed an autobiographical memory retrieval task during script-driven imagery of (a) the assault and (b) an unrelated negative event. When listening to a taped imagery script of the worst moment of their assault, survivors with PTSD took longer to retrieve unrelated non-traumatic autobiographical information than those without PTSD, but not when listening to a taped script of the worst moment of another negative life event. The groups also did not differ in general retrieval latencies, neither at baseline nor after the imagery tasks. The findings are in line with suggestions that traumatic memories are less integrated with other autobiographical information in trauma survivors with PTSD than in those without PTSD. PMID:21241538
Huntjens, Rafaële J C; Wessel, Ineke; Hermans, Dirk; van Minnen, Agnes
A lack of adequate access to autobiographical knowledge has been related to psychopathology. More specifically, patients suffering from depression or a history of trauma have been found to be characterized by overgeneral memory, in other words, they show a relative difficulty in retrieving a specific event from memory located in time and place. Previous studies of overgeneral memory have not included patients with dissociative disorders. These patients are interesting to consider, as they are hypothesized to have the ability to selectively compartmentalize information linked to negative emotions. This study examined avoidance and overgeneral memory in patients with dissociative identity disorder (DID; n = 12). The patients completed the autobiographical memory test (AMT). Their performance was compared with control groups of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients (n = 26), healthy controls (n = 29), and DID simulators (n = 26). Specifically, we compared the performance of separate identity states in DID hypothesized to diverge in the use of avoidance as a coping strategy to deal with negative affect. No significant differences in memory specificity were found between the separate identities in DID. Irrespective of identity state, DID patients were characterized by a lack of memory specificity, which was similar to the lack of memory specificity found in PTSD patients. The converging results for DID and PTSD patients add empirical evidence for the role of overgeneral memory involved in the maintenance of posttraumatic psychopathology.
Valentino, Kristin; Nuttall, Amy K; Comas, Michelle; McDonnell, Christina G; Piper, Brianna; Thomas, Taylor E; Fanuele, Suzanne
Overgeneral memory (OGM) refers to difficulty in retrieving specific autobiographical memories. The tendency to be overgeneral in autobiographical memory recall is more commonly observed among individuals with emotional disorders compared with those without. Despite significant advances in theory and identification of mechanisms that underlie the etiology of OGM, there has been little integration between normative research on the development of autobiographical memory and research on OGM. Informed by a developmental psychopathology perspective and drawing on normative developmental research on the social construction of autobiographical memory, the current investigation examined whether the elaborative quantity and elaborative quality of maternal reminiscing are predictive of preschool-age children's autobiographical memory specificity. Additionally, this investigation tested whether children's positive self-representations may explain these hypothesized associations. Participants consisted of 95 mother-child dyads. Children's ages ranged between 3.5 and 6 years, and the sample was predominantly low income and of minority race/ethnicity. Dyads participated in a joint reminiscing task about 4 past events, and children participated in assessments of autobiographical memory specificity and self-representations. Results indicated that the elaborative quality, defined by maternal-sensitive guidance and emotional narrative coherence, but not the elaborative quantity, of maternal reminiscing style was significantly associated with children's autobiographical memory specificity. Additionally, there was support for an indirect pathway between maternal reminiscing quality and child memory specificity through children's positive self-representations. Directions for future research are discussed, and potential clinical implications are addressed.
Uzer, Tugba; Brown, Norman R
It has long been argued that personal memories are usually generated in an effortful search process in word-cueing studies. However, recent research (Uzer, Lee, & Brown, 2012) shows that direct retrieval of autobiographical memories, in response to word cues, is common. This invites the question of whether direct retrieval phenomenon is generalizable beyond the standard laboratory paradigm. Here we investigated prevalence of direct retrieval of autobiographical memories cued by specific and individuated cues versus generic cues. In Experiment 1, participants retrieved memories in response to cues from their own life (e.g., the names of friends) and generic words (e.g., chair). In Experiment 2, participants provided their personal cues two or three months prior to coming to the lab (min: 75days; max: 100days). In each experiment, RT was measured and participants reported whether memories were directly retrieved or generated on each trial. Results showed that personal cues elicited a high rate of direct retrieval. Personal cues were more likely to elicit direct retrieval than generic word cues, and as a consequence, participants responded faster, on average, to the former than to the latter. These results challenge the constructive view of autobiographical memory and suggest that autobiographical memories consist of pre-stored event representations, which are largely governed by associative mechanisms. These demonstrations offer theoretically interesting questions such as why are we not overwhelmed with directly retrieved memories cued by everyday familiar surroundings?
Danion, Jean-Marie; Cuervo, Christine; Piolino, Pascale; Huron, Caroline; Riutort, Marielle; Peretti, Charles Siegfried; Eustache, Francis
Whether or not conscious recollection in autobiographical memory is affected in schizophrenia is unknown. The aim of this study was to address this issue using an experiential approach. An autobiographical memory enquiry was used in combination with the Remember/Know procedure. Twenty-two patients with schizophrenia and 22 normal subjects were asked to recall specific autobiographical memories from four lifetime periods and to indicate the subjective states of awareness associated with the recall of what happened, when and where. They gave Remember, Know or Guess responses according to whether they recalled these aspects of the event on the basis of conscious recollection, simply knowing, or guessing. Results showed that the frequency and consistency of Remember responses was significantly lower in patients than in comparison subjects. In contrast, the frequency of Know responses was not significantly different, whereas the frequency of patients' Guess responses was significantly enhanced. It is concluded that the frequency and consistency of conscious recollection in autobiographical memory is reduced in patients with schizophrenia.
Murphy, Kelly J.; Troyer, Angela K.; Levine, Brian; Moscovitch, Morris
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is characterized by decline in anterograde memory as measured by the ability to learn and remember new information. We investigated whether retrograde memory for autobiographical information was affected by aMCI. Eighteen control (age 66–84 years) and 17 aMCI (age 66–84 years) participants described a personal event from each of five periods across the lifespan. These events were transcribed and scored according to procedures that separate episodic (specific happenings) from semantic (general knowledge) elements of autobiographical memory. Although both groups generated protocols of similar length, the composition of autobiographical recall differentiated the groups. The aMCI group protocols were characterized by reduced episodic and increased semantic information relative to the control group. Both groups showed a similar pattern of recall across time periods, with no evidence that the aMCI group had more difficulty recalling recent, rather than remote, life events. These results indicate that episodic and semantic autobiographical memories are differentially affected by the early brain changes associated with aMCI. Reduced autobiographical episodic memories in aMCI may be the result of medial-temporal-lobe dysfunction, consistent with multiple trace theory, or alternatively, could be related to dysfunction of a wider related network of neocortical structures. In contrast, the preservation of autobiographical semantic memories in aMCI suggests neural systems, such as lateral temporal cortex, that support these memories, may remain relatively intact. PMID:18675285
Maslow, Abraham H.
Presents previously unpublished paper written by Abraham Maslow in November 1964. Maslow discusses the concept of happiness, suggesting that happiness is a lot more complicated than its standard, hedonistic definition as merely the absence of pain. (Author/ABL)
Verschuere, Bruno; Kleinberg, Bennett
By assessing the association strength with TRUE and FALSE, the autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT) [Sartori, G., Agosta, S., Zogmaister, C., Ferrara, S. D., & Castiello, U. (2008). How to accurately detect autobiographical events. Psychological Science, 19, 772-780. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02156.x ] aims to determine which of two contrasting statements is true. To efficiently run well-powered aIAT experiments, we propose a web-based aIAT (web-aIAT). Experiment 1 (n = 522) is a web-based replication study of the first published aIAT study [Sartori, G., Agosta, S., Zogmaister, C., Ferrara, S. D., & Castiello, U. (2008). How to accurately detect autobiographical events. Psychological Science, 19, 772-780. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02156.x ; Experiment 1]. We conclude that the replication was successful as the web-based aIAT could accurately detect which of two playing cards participants chose (AUC = .88; Hit rate = 81%). In Experiment 2 (n = 424), we investigated whether the use of affirmative versus negative sentences may partly explain the variability in aIAT accuracy findings. The aIAT could detect the chosen card when using affirmative (AUC = .90; Hit rate = 81%), but not when using negative sentences (AUC = .60; Hit rate = 53%). The web-based aIAT seems to be a valuable tool to facilitate aIAT research and may help to further identify moderators of the test's accuracy.
Barker, Chris; Martin, Brian
There is a burgeoning amount of research into happiness and greatly increased popular attention, so it seems logical to add a course on happiness to the university curriculum. We encountered, in developing and running such a course, a number of dilemmas that the topic of happiness makes especially acute. Should the teacher remain separate from the…
El Haj, Mohamad; Fasotti, Luciano; Allain, Philippe
The main objective of this paper was to examine the involuntary nature of music-evoked autobiographical memories. For this purpose, young adults, older adults, and patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) were asked to remember autobiographical events in two conditions: after being exposed to their own chosen music, and in silence. Compared to memories evoked in silence, memories evoked in the "Music" condition were found to be more specific, accompanied by more emotional content and impact on mood, and retrieved faster. In addition, these memories engaged less executive processes. Thus, with all these characteristics and the fact that they are activated by a perceptual cue (i.e., music), music-evoked autobiographic memories have all the features to be considered as involuntary memories. Our paper reveals several characteristics of music-evoked autobiographical memories in AD patients and offers a theoretical background for this phenomenon.
Lebrun-Givois, C; Thomas-Antérion, C; Borg, C; Laurent, B
A case of episodic amnesia with impairment of time perception is described; it illustrates the link between time perception and autobiographical memory. This woman suffered from a Sheehan syndrome with anoxia at the age of 36 and since that date has had a strong and isolated difficulty to estimate the date and duration of events in a range of weeks, months or years. Conversely, short duration time spans are correctly evaluated. The patient's complaints also involve episodic memory. She reports many events from her biography very imprecisely while the semantic autobiographical data are preserved. The patient has difficulty in recalling the date of public events and the period of celebrity of well-known people. That observation confirms the specificity of time organization for long periods and the link with the episodic memory where the context of the dating task is crucial. The results are discussed in reference to autobiographical memory that involves mental wandering in time-space and the constitution of self over a time continuum.
Chen, Henian; Pine, Daniel S; Ernst, Monique; Gorodetsky, Elena; Kasen, Stephanie; Gordon, Kathy; Goldman, David; Cohen, Patricia
Psychologists, quality of life and well-being researchers have grown increasingly interested in understanding the factors that are associated with human happiness. Although twin studies estimate that genetic factors account for 35-50% of the variance in human happiness, knowledge of specific genes is limited. However, recent advances in molecular genetics can now provide a window into neurobiological markers of human happiness. This investigation examines association between happiness and monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype. Data were drawn from a longitudinal study of a population-based cohort, followed for three decades. In women, low expression of MAOA (MAOA-L) was related significantly to greater happiness (0.261 SD increase with one L-allele, 0.522 SD with two L-alleles, P=0.002) after adjusting for the potential effects of age, education, household income, marital status, employment status, mental disorder, physical health, relationship quality, religiosity, abuse history, recent negative life events and self-esteem use in linear regression models. In contrast, no such association was found in men. This new finding may help explain the gender difference on happiness and provide a link between MAOA and human happiness.
Abdollahi, Maryam; Moradi, Alireza; Hasani, Jaffar; Jobson, Laura
A bidirectional relationship is proposed between the self and memory whereby autobiographical memories develop, express and maintain the self and the self implements control over autobiographical remembering (Conway, 2005). The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between self-concept, autobiographical remembering and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD) in individuals with HIV living in Iran. Participants were individuals with HIV (n = 61) and healthy nontrauma-exposed controls (n = 59). Participants completed Farsi versions of the Autobiographical Memory Test, Autobiographical Memory Interview, the "I AM" task and the Impact of Event-Revised. It was found that the HIV group provided fewer specific memories, had reduced semantic and episodic recall and provided fewer self-statements than the control group. Reduced autobiographical memory specificity was significantly correlated with recalling fewer self-statements and deficits in episodic memory mediated the relationship between group and fewer self-statements provided. Finally, proportion of HIV-themed self-statements correlated significantly with reduced memory specificity when age and education were included as covariates. The findings are discussed in regards to current psychological models of self and memory.
LePort, Aurora K R; Stark, Shauna M; McGaugh, James L; Stark, Craig E L
Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) is characterised as the ability to accurately recall an exceptional number of experiences and their associated dates from events occurring throughout much of one's lifetime. The source of this ability has only begun to be explored. The present study explores whether other enhanced cognitive processes may be critical influences underlying HSAM abilities. We investigated whether enhanced abilities in the domains of verbal fluency, attention/inhibition, executive functioning, mnemonic discrimination, perception, visual working memory, or the processing of and memory for emotional details might contribute critically to HSAM. The results suggest that superior cognitive functioning is an unlikely basis of HSAM, as only modest advantages were found in only a few tests. In addition, we examined HSAM subjects' memory of the testing episodes. Interestingly, HSAM participants recalled details of their own experiences far better than those experiences that the experimenter shared with them. These findings provide additional evidence that HSAM involves, relatively selectively, recollection of personal, autobiographical material.
Habermas, Tilmann; Diel, Verena; Welzer, Harald
Autobiographical memories of older adults show fewer episodic and more non-episodic elements than those of younger adults. This semantization effect is attributed to a loss of episodic memory ability. However the alternative explanation by an increasing proclivity to search for meaning has not been ruled out to date. To test whether a decrease in episodicity and an increase in meaning-making in autobiographical narratives are related across the lifespan, we used different instructions, one focussing on specific episodes, the other on embedding events in life, in two lifespan samples. A continuous decrease of episodic quality of memory (memory specificity, narrative quality) was confirmed. An increase of search for meaning (interpretation, life story integration) was confirmed only up to middle adulthood. This non-inverse development of episodicity and searching for meaning in older age speaks for an autonomous semantization effect that is not merely due to an increase in interpretative preferences.
Pettersen, Kenneth; Rydningen, Nora Nord; Christensen, Tore Buer; Walby, Fredrik A.
According to the cry of pain model of suicidal behavior, an over-general autobiographical memory function is often found in suicide attempters. The model has received empirical support in several studies, mainly of depressed patients. The present study investigated whether deficits in autobiographical memory may be associated with an increased…
Stets, Jan E; Trettevik, Ryan
Previous sociological research has focused on macro forces that are associated with overall happiness with one's life, but it has neglected an analysis of happiness in immediate situations and the micro forces that may shape it. In this study, we examine social structural as well as individual factors that may influence happiness in situations that are morally challenging. Data are examined from an experiment in which satisfying self-interests may involve cheating to get ahead. The results reveal that while distal, structural factors influence happiness for those who do not cheat, proximal, individual factors influence happiness for those who cheat. We discuss how both macro and micro forces may shape happiness in situations.
McDermott, Kathleen B.; Szpunar, Karl K.; Christ, Shawn E.
In designing experiments to investigate retrieval of event memory, researchers choose between utilizing laboratory-based methods (in which to-be-remembered materials are presented to participants) and autobiographical approaches (in which the to-be-remembered materials are events from the participant's pre-experimental life). In practice, most…
Scoboria, Alan; Pascal, Lisa
Recent studies of metamemory appraisals implicated in autobiographical remembering have established distinct roles for judgments of occurrence, recollection, and accuracy for past events. In studies involving everyday remembering, measures of recollection and accuracy correlate highly (>.85). Thus although their measures are structurally distinct, such high correspondence might suggest conceptual redundancy. This article examines whether recollection and accuracy dissociate when studying different types of autobiographical event representations. In Study 1, 278 participants described a believed memory, a nonbelieved memory, and a believed-not-remembered event and rated each on occurrence, recollection, accuracy, and related covariates. In Study 2, 876 individuals described and rated 1 of these events, as well as an event about which they were uncertain about their memory. Confirmatory structural equation modeling indicated that the measurement dissociation between occurrence, recollection and accuracy held across all types of events examined. Relative to believed memories, the relationship between recollection and belief in accuracy was meaningfully lower for the other event types. These findings support the claim that recollection and accuracy arise from distinct underlying mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record
Stanley, Matthew L; Parikh, Natasha; Stewart, Gregory W; De Brigard, Felipe
Episodic counterfactual thoughts-imagined alternative ways in which personal past events might have occurred-are frequently accompanied by intense emotions. Here, participants recollected positive and negative autobiographical memories and then generated better and worse episodic counterfactual events from those memories. Our results suggest that the projected emotional intensity during the simulated remembered/imagined event is significantly higher than but typically positively related to the emotional intensity while remembering/imagining the event. Furthermore, repeatedly simulating counterfactual events heightened the emotional intensity felt while simulating the counterfactual event. Finally, for both the emotional intensity accompanying the experience of remembering/imagining and the projected emotional intensity during the simulated remembered/imagined event, the emotional intensity of negative memories was greater than the emotional intensity of upward counterfactuals generated from them but lower than the emotional intensity of downward counterfactuals generated from them. These findings are discussed in relation to clinical work and functional theories of counterfactual thinking.
Woody, Mary L.; Burkhouse, Katie L.; Gibb, Brandon E.
The goal of this study was to examine overgeneral autobiographical memory in a population at-risk for depression (i.e. children of depressed mothers). We predicted that children of depressed mothers would display less specific memories than children of nondepressed mothers and that these results would be observed among children with no prior history of depression themselves. Participants in this study were children (age 8–14; 50% girls, 83% Caucasian) of mothers with (n = 103) or without (n = 120) a history of major depressive disorder during the child’s life. Mothers’ and children’s diagnoses were confirmed with a diagnostic interview, and children completed the Autobiographical Memory Test and a measure of depressive symptoms. We found that children of depressed mothers, compared to children of nondepressed mothers, recalled less specific memories in response to negative cue words but not positive cue words. Importantly, these results were maintained even when we statistically controlled for the influence of children’s current depressive symptom levels and excluded children with currently depressed mothers. These results suggest that overgeneral autobiographical memory for negative events may serve as a marker of depression risk among high-risk children with no prior depression history. PMID:24580414
LePort, Aurora K. R.; Stark, Shauna M.; McGaugh, James L.; Stark, Craig E. L.
Individuals who have Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) are able to recall, with considerable accuracy, details of daily experiences that occurred over many previous decades. The present study parametrically investigates the quantity and quality of details of autobiographical memories acquired 1-week, 1-month, 1-year, and 10-years prior in HSAMs and controls. In addition, we tested the consistency of details provided at the 1-week delay by testing the subjects 1 month later with a surprise assessment. At the 1-week delay, HSAMs and controls recalled an equivalent number of events. In contrast, HSAM recall performance was superior at more remote delays, with remarkable consistency following a 1-month delay. Further, we revealed a relationship between the consistency of recall and HSAMs’ obsessive–compulsive tendencies. These data suggest that HSAMs experience normal encoding, yet enhanced consolidation and later recall of autobiographical events. PMID:26834661
Rettew, David C.
Wellness and happiness should be considered in the clinical treatment of child and adolescent psychiatry, in addition with thinking about illness. Meanwhile, various studies on child and adolescent psychiatry,which includes an article from the "Journal of Happiness Studies," are discussed.
Michalos, Alex C.
Answers to the questions "Does education influence happiness and if so, how and how much?" depend on how one defines and operationalizes "education", "influences" and "happiness". A great variety of research scenarios may be constructed from our three essential variables. What public policies one ought to adopt and implement regarding the…
In today's world we appear to place a premium on happiness. Happiness is often portrayed, directly or indirectly, as one of the key aims of education. To suggest that education is concerned with promoting unhappiness or even despair would, in many contexts, seem outlandish. This paper challenges these widely held views. Focusing on the work…
This paper aims to tackle the subtle relation between autobiographical narratives and identity construction, from a non essentialist conception of identity. In a perspective that articulates philosophy of language, psychoanalysis, semiotics and literary critique, we posit the concept of biographical space as an analytical instrument to make a critical update of the reconfiguration of identities and subjectivities in contemporary culture, marked by the predominance of the biographical, the private and a kind of "public intimacy". This look is more symptomatic than descriptive: it intends to account for the rise of auto/biographical narratives and life-stories, from canonic genres to their multiple derivations in the media, social networks and the most diverse artistic practices, a phenomenon that seems to reaffirm the notion of narrative identities by Ricoeur. Our analysis here, from an ethic, aesthetic and political point of view, will focus on two visual arts experiences that have recently taken place for the first time in Buenos Aires: Christian Boltanski's and Tracey Emin's, solo exhibitions, each of them with a different biographical approach.
Malinowski, Josie E; Horton, Caroline L
The present study aimed to explore autobiographical memories (long-lasting memories about the self) and episodic memories (memories about discrete episodes or events) within dream content. We adapted earlier episodic memory study paradigms and reinvestigated the incorporation of episodic memory sources into dreams, operationalizing episodic memory as featuring autonoetic consciousness, which is the feeling of truly re-experiencing or reliving a past event. Participants (n = 32) recorded daily diaries and dream diaries, and reported on wake-dream relations for 2 weeks. Using a new scale, dreams were rated for their episodic richness, which categorized memory sources of dreams as being truly episodic (featuring autonoetic consciousness), autobiographical (containing segregated features of experiences that pertained to waking life) or otherwise. Only one dream (0.5%) was found to contain an episodic memory. However, the majority of dreams (>80%) were found to contain low to moderate incorporations of autobiographical memory features. These findings demonstrate the inactivity of intact episodic memories, and emphasize the activity of autobiographical memory and processing within dreams. Taken together, this suggests that memories for personal experiences are experienced fragmentarily and selectively during dreaming, perhaps in order to assimilate these memories into the autobiographical memory schema.
de Groot, Jasper H B; Smeets, Monique A M; Rowson, Matt J; Bulsing, Patricia J; Blonk, Cor G; Wilkinson, Joy E; Semin, Gün R
It is well known that feelings of happiness transfer between individuals through mimicry induced by vision and hearing. The evidence is inconclusive, however, as to whether happiness can be communicated through the sense of smell via chemosignals. As chemosignals are a known medium for transferring negative emotions from a sender to a receiver, we examined whether chemosignals are also involved in the transmission of positive emotions. Positive emotions are important for overall well-being and yet relatively neglected in research on chemosignaling, arguably because of the stronger survival benefits linked with negative emotions. We observed that exposure to body odor collected from senders of chemosignals in a happy state induced a facial expression and perceptual-processing style indicative of happiness in the receivers of those signals. Our findings suggest that not only negative affect but also a positive state (happiness) can be transferred by means of odors.
Studies on the influence of affective states on cognitive processes have used different techniques of experimentally inducing the subjects' mood. One of these techniques, the "autobiographical recollection methodology" is analyzed in the present paper. The experimental studies are concerned with two main questions: first, the reliability, stability and potential reactivity of mood effects produced by this method as well as possible mechanisms underlying these effects; second, possible differences in the descriptions of positive versus negative life events are analyzed. In four studies with altogether N = 344 subjects, the participants were asked to remember and vividly write down an important happy or sad event from their lives. These descriptions were content-analyzed and their effects on the subjects' mood were studied. The results show that the autobiographical recollection methodology is in all four studies an effective mood induction technique lasting 15 minutes. After this time, the subjects' mood comes back to its pretest state. If an adequate cover story is used, there are no signs of reactivity effects of this method. With respect to the underlying mechanisms, the data show that the vividness and specificity of the description were positively related to the respective mood effects. Additionally, the description of negative events led to stronger mood effects when they were uncontrollable. All other variables analyzed (for example, number of words written, time needed, degree of analytical reasoning, degree of expressed emotionality) were unrelated to the mood changes. It is concluded that the effect of the autobiographical recollection methodology is dependent mainly on the event valence category and more or less unrelated to quantitative variables of the event description. With respect to the descriptions of positive versus negative life events, the data show that descriptions of sad events were longer, took more time, were more analytical, and contained
Potheegadoo, Jevita; Berna, Fabrice; Cuervo-Lombard, Christine; Danion, Jean-Marie
There is growing interest in clinical research regarding the visual perspective adopted during memory retrieval, because it reflects individuals' self-attitude towards their memories of past personal events. Several autobiographical memory deficits, including low specificity of personal memories, have been identified in schizophrenia, but visual perspective during autobiographical memory retrieval has not yet been investigated in patients. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the visual perspective with which patients visualize themselves when recalling autobiographical memories and to assess the specificity of their memories which is a major determinant of visual perspective. Thirty patients with schizophrenia and 30 matched controls recalled personal events from 4 life periods. After each recall, they were asked to report their visual perspective (Field or Observer) associated with the event. The specificity of their memories was assessed by independent raters. Our results showed that patients reported significantly fewer Field perspectives than comparison participants. Patients' memories, whether recalled with Field or Observer perspectives, were less specific and less detailed. Our results indicate that patients with schizophrenia adopt Field perspectives less frequently than comparison participants, and that this may contribute to a weakened sense of the individual of being an actor of his past events, and hence to a reduced sense of self. They suggest that this may be related to low specificity of memories and that all the important aspects involved in re-experiencing autobiographical events are impaired in patients with schizophrenia.
Bruck, Maggie; London, Kamala; Landa, Rebecca; Goodman, June
Two paradigms were developed to examine autobiographical memory (ABM) and suggestibility in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with ASD (N = 30) and typically developing chronological age-matched children (N = 38) ranging in age from 5 to 10 years were administered an ABM questionnaire. Children were asked about details of current and past personally experienced events. Children also participated in a staged event, and later were provided with true and false reminders about that event. Later, children again were interviewed about the staged event. The results from both paradigms revealed that children with ASD showed poorer ABM compared to controls. Generally, their ABM was marked by errors of omission rather than by errors of commission, and memory was particularly poor for early-life events. In addition, they were as suggestible as the typically developing children. The results are discussed in terms of applied and theoretical implications.
Boehm, Julia K.; Lyubomirsky, Sonja
Past research has demonstrated a relationship between happiness and workplace success. For example, compared with their less happy peers, happy people earn more money, display superior performance, and perform more helpful acts. Researchers have often assumed that an employee is happy and satisfied because he or she is successful. In this article,…
Grysman, Azriel; Merrill, Natalie; Fivush, Robyn
Gender differences in the emotional intensity and content of autobiographical memory (AM) are inconsistent across studies, and may be influenced as much by gender identity as by categorical gender. To explore this question, data were collected from 196 participants (age 18-40), split evenly between men and women. Participants narrated four memories, a neutral event, high point event, low point event, and self-defining memory, completed ratings of emotional intensity for each event, and completed four measures of gender typical identity. For self-reported emotional intensity, gender differences in AM were mediated by identification with stereotypical feminine gender norms. For narrative use of affect terms, both gender and gender typical identity predicted affective expression. The results confirm contextual models of gender identity (e.g., Diamond, 2012 . The desire disorder in research on sexual orientation in women: Contributions of dynamical systems theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 73-83) and underscore the dynamic interplay between gender and gender identity in the emotional expression of autobiographical memories.
Stearns, Peter N
In the 18th century, the Enlightenment ushered in the notion that happiness was the attainment of a worthy life. Since then the pursuit of happiness has spread to every aspect of behavior, from religion and politics to work and parenting. Today the happiness imperative creates pressures that, paradoxically, can make us miserable. Sadness is often mistaken for a pathology. Understanding the cultural commitment to good cheer as an artifact of modern history, not as an inherent feature of the human condition, opens new opportunities for understanding key facets of our social and personal experience.
Sanitioso, R; Kunda, Z; Fong, G T
We hypothesized that people motivated to believe that they possess a given trait search for autobiographical memories that reflect that trait, so as to justify their desired self-view. We led subjects to believe that either extraversion or introversion was desirable, and obtained convergent evidence from open-ended memory-listing tasks as well as from reaction-time tasks measuring the speed with which memories could be generated that this manipulation enhanced the accessibility of memories reflecting the desired trait. If people rely on their memories to construct desired self-concepts, motivated changes in self-concepts should be constrained by the content of available memories. Our final study demonstrates such constraints.
Matsunaga, Masahiro; Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Koike, Takahiko; Yoshihara, Kazufumi; Yoshida, Yumiko; Takahashi, Haruka K; Nakagawa, Eri; Sadato, Norihiro
Happiness is one of the most fundamental human goals, which has led researchers to examine the source of individual happiness. Happiness has usually been discussed regarding two aspects (a temporary positive emotion and a trait-like long-term sense of being happy) that are interrelated; for example, individuals with a high level of trait-like subjective happiness tend to rate events as more pleasant. In this study, we hypothesized that the interaction between the two aspects of happiness could be explained by the interaction between structure and function in certain brain regions. Thus, we first assessed the association between gray matter density (GMD) of healthy participants and trait-like subjective happiness using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Further, to assess the association between the GMD and brain function, we conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using the task of positive emotion induction (imagination of several emotional life events). VBM indicated that the subjective happiness was positively correlated with the GMD of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC). Functional MRI demonstrated that experimentally induced temporal happy feelings were positively correlated with subjective happiness level and rACC activity. The rACC response to positive events was also positively correlated with its GMD. These results provide convergent structural and functional evidence that the rACC is related to happiness and suggest that the interaction between structure and function in the rACC may explain the trait-state interaction in happiness.
Bauer, Patricia J; Larkina, Marina
Preservation and loss to forgetting of autobiographical memories is a focus in both the adult and developmental literatures. In both, there are comparative arguments regarding rates of forgetting. Children are assumed to forget autobiographical memories more rapidly than adults, and younger children are assumed to forget more rapidly than older children. Yet few studies can directly inform these comparisons: few feature children and adults, and few prospectively track the survival of specific autobiographical memories over time. In a 4-year prospective study, we obtained autobiographical memories from children 4, 6, and 8 years, and adults. We tested recall of different subsets of the events after 1, 2, and 3 years. Accelerated rates of forgetting were apparent among all child groups relative to adults; within the child groups, 4- and 6-year-olds had accelerated forgetting relative to 8-year-olds. The differences were especially pronounced in open-ended recall. The thematic coherence of initial memory reports also was a significant predictor of the survival of specific memories. The pattern of findings is consistent with suggestions that the adult distribution of autobiographical memories is achieved as the quality of memory traces increases (here measured by thematic coherence) and the rate of forgetting decreases.
El Haj, Mohamad; Antoine, Pascal
This study investigated whether retrieval of information related to conceptual self (i.e., self-images that encompass general factual and evaluative knowledge of one's identity) would improve autobiographical memory in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Participants with AD and controls were asked to retrieve autobiographical memories after providing statements to the question "Who am I? and after a control condition consisting of reading a general text. Autobiographical recall was analyzed with respect to specificity (general vs specific event), context recall (information describing the "when, where, and who" as well as affective states), and reliving (the subjective experience of recall). AD participants showed higher specificity, context recall and reliving after the "Who am I?" statements than after the text reading, and controls showed higher context recall after the former than after the latter condition. These findings highlight the relationship between self and autobiographical memory in AD and demonstrate how retrieval of information related to conceptual self may influence autobiographical memory in the disease.
Quas, Jodi A.; Alexander, Kristen Weede; Goodman, Gail S.; Ghetti, Simona; Edelstein, Robin S.; Redlich, Allison
We examined adults' long-term autobiographical memory for a dramatic life event-participating as a child victim in a criminal prosecution because of alleged sexual abuse. The study is unique in several ways, including that we had extensive documentation concerning the sexual abuse allegations, the children's involvement in their legal case, and…
Ford, Jaclyn Hennessey; Addis, Donna Rose; Giovanello, Kelly S.
Previous neuroimaging studies that have examined autobiographical memory specificity have utilized retrieval cues associated with prior searches of the event, potentially changing the retrieval processes being investigated. In the current study, musical cues were used to naturally elicit memories from multiple levels of specificity (i.e., lifetime…
Pasupathi, Monisha; Wainryb, Cecilia
This article examines age differences from childhood through middle adolescence in the extent to which children include factual and interpretive information in constructing autobiographical memory narratives. Factual information is defined as observable or perceptible information available to all individuals who experience a given event, while…
Berna, Fabrice; Göritz, Anja S.; Schröder, Johanna; Coutelle, Romain; Danion, Jean-Marie; Cuervo-Lombard, Christine V.; Moritz, Steffen
The present web-based study (N = 840) aimed to illuminate the cognitive mechanisms underlying self-disorders in autism. Initially, participants selected three self-defining memories. Then, we assessed their capacity to give meaning to these events (i.e., meaning making), their tendency to scrutinize autobiographical memory to better understand…
Knowledge of emotion situations facilitates the interpretation, processing, and organization of significant personal event information and thus may be an important contributor to the development of autobiographical memory. This longitudinal study tested the hypothesis in a cross-cultural context. The participants were native Chinese children,…
St-Laurent, Marie; Moscovitch, Morris; Levine, Brian; McAndrews, Mary Pat
Patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy from hippocampal origin and patients with unilateral surgical excision of an epileptic focus located in the medial temporal lobe were compared to healthy controls on a version of the Autobiographical Interview (AI) adapted to assess memory for event-specific and generic personal episodes. For both…
Connolly, Samantha L.; Hamilton, Jessica L.; Stange, Jonathan P.; Abramson, Lyn Y.; Alloy, Lauren B.
During adolescence, rates of depression dramatically increase and girls become twice as likely as boys to develop depression. Research suggests that overgeneral autobiographical memory and rumination are vulnerability factors for depressive symptoms in adolescence that may be triggered by stressful life events. The current longitudinal study included 160 early adolescents (Mage = 12.44 years, 60.0 % African American, 40.0 % Caucasian, and 56.2 % female). At baseline, adolescents completed measures of current depressive symptoms, rumination, and specificity of autobiographical memories. Approximately 9 months later, the adolescents completed measures of current depressive symptoms and stressful life events that had occurred between baseline and follow-up. Analyses indicated that girls with more overgeneral autobiographical memories in combination with higher levels of rumination were most vulnerable to experiencing increases in depressive symptoms following stressful life events. Additionally, retrieving more specific autobiographical memories appeared to buffer against the impact of negative life events on depressive symptoms among both boys and girls. Memory specificity may play a protective role in depression risk, suggesting that memory specificity training interventions may prove beneficial for adolescents. PMID:24449170
Rodrigues, Guilherme R; Oliveira, Daniel S; Foss, Maria P; Takayanagui, Osvaldo M
Episodic memory enables the storage of personal events with specific temporal and spatial details, and their retrieval through a sensory experience, usually visual, which is called autonoetic consciousness. While, in Brazil, several scales for the evaluation of anterograde episodic memory have been validated, there is not yet an instrument to assess the episodic autobiographical memory. The aim of this study is thus to make a cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the Episodic Autobiographic Memory Interview (EAMI) for Brazilian Portuguese. Altogether, 11 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 10 healthy controls (CTs) were evaluated. EAMI scores for AD patients were lower than those of CTs, and these scores also correlated positively with the Remember-Know coefficient. The intraclass correlation coefficient indicated a good inter-rater reliability. The Portuguese version of EAMI showed a good reliability and validity, which suggests that it is a useful tool for evaluation of autobiographical memory in Brazilian patients.
Valentino, Kristin; Toth, Sheree L.; Cicchetti, Dante
Background This investigation addresses whether there are differences in the form and content of autobiographical memory recall as a function of maltreatment, and examines the roles of self-system functioning and psychopathology in autobiographical memory processes. Methods Autobiographical memory for positive and negative nontraumatic events was evaluated among abused, neglected, and nonmaltreated school-aged children. Results Abused children’s memories were more overgeneral and contained more negative self-representations than did those of the nonmaltreated children. Negative self-representations and depression were significantly related to overgeneral memory, but did not mediate the relation between abuse and overgeneral memory. Conclusions The meaning of these findings for models of memory and for the development of overgenerality is emphasized. Moreover, the clinical implications of the current research are discussed. PMID:19490313
Schulkind, Matthew; Schoppel, Kyle; Scheiderer, Emily
Research on autobiographical narratives consistently demonstrates that whereas women's narratives emphasize evaluative information, men's narratives are factually oriented. These narrative differences might reflect gender differences in either the autobiographical knowledge base or the way information from the knowledge base is selected when a narrative is constructed. The present experiment evaluated these two (potentially complementary) hypotheses by assessing memory soon after an event and after a period of 6 weeks, using both open-ended (narrative) and factually oriented (questionnaire) measures. Consistent with past literature, women told longer, richer, more evaluative narratives than did men. However, men recalled more factual information both initially and after 6 weeks and also constructed narratives that were more factually oriented. These data suggest that men and women value factual information differently and that these differences influence both the contents of the autobiographical knowledge base and the way that information in the knowledge base is used to construct personal narratives.
Emerging from the worst economic crisis in decades, more governments than ever are measuring health and happiness as well as gross domestic product. But how will the study of well-being shape new policies?
Conway, J. H.
It is asserted without proof that every positive integer is the product of a unique "happy couple" of integers. A "happy couple" is an ordered pair of integers of one of three types: (A,A); (B,C), with C>1, where there exist integers R, S, such thath B*R^2+1=C*S^2; and (D,E) where there exist odd integers T, U such that D*T^2+2=E*U^2.
Heaps, C M; Nash, M
This study investigated whether true autobiographical memories are qualitatively distinct from false autobiographical memories using a variation of the interview method originally reported by E. F. Loftus and J. Pickrell (1995). Participants recalled events provided by parents on 3 separate occasions and were asked to imagine true and false unremembered events. True memories were rated by both participants and observers as more rich in recollective experience and were rated by participants as more important, more emotionally intense, as having clearer imagery, and as less typical than false memories. Rehearsal frequency was used as a covariate, eliminating these effects. Imagery in true memories was most often viewed from the field perspective, whereas imagery in false memories was most often viewed from the observer perspective. More information was communicated in true memories, and true memories contained more information concerning the consequences of described events. Results suggest repeated remembering can make false memories more rich in recollective experience and more like true memories. Differences between true and false memories suggest some potentially distinct characteristics of false memories and provide insight into the process of false memory creation.
The recent emphasis on a realist ontology that cannot be overshadowed by subjectivist or relativist perspectives seems to have a number of consequences for psychology as well. My attempt here is to analyse the relationship between happiness as a state of the individual and the states of the external world and the brain events related to (or, in some hypotheses, causally responsible for) its occurrence. It can be maintained that different degrees of realism are suitable to describe the states of happiness and this fact might have relevant psychological implications, namely for the so-called positive psychology. This is especially true now that there are methods available to induce subjective states of happiness unrelated to the external conditions usually taken to be linked to such states.
The recent emphasis on a realist ontology that cannot be overshadowed by subjectivist or relativist perspectives seems to have a number of consequences for psychology as well. My attempt here is to analyse the relationship between happiness as a state of the individual and the states of the external world and the brain events related to (or, in some hypotheses, causally responsible for) its occurrence. It can be maintained that different degrees of realism are suitable to describe the states of happiness and this fact might have relevant psychological implications, namely for the so-called positive psychology. This is especially true now that there are methods available to induce subjective states of happiness unrelated to the external conditions usually taken to be linked to such states. PMID:27536261
Flom, Ross; Gentile, Douglas A; Pick, Anne D
Infants can detect information specifying affect in infant- and adult-directed speech, familiar and unfamiliar facial expressions, and in point-light displays of facial expressions. We examined 3-, 5-, 7-, and 9-month-olds' discrimination of musical excerpts judged by adults and preschoolers as happy and sad. In Experiment 1, using an infant-controlled habituation procedure, 3-, 5-, 7-, and 9-month-olds heard three musical excerpts that were rated as either happy or sad. Following habituation, infants were presented with two new musical excerpts from the other affect group. Nine-month-olds discriminated the musical excerpts rated as affectively different. Five- and seven-month-olds discriminated the happy and sad excerpts when they were habituated to sad excerpts but not when they were habituated to happy excerpts. Three-month-olds showed no evidence of discriminating the sad and happy excerpts. In Experiment 2, 5-, 7-, and 9-month-olds were presented with two new musical excerpts from the same affective group as the habituation excerpts. At no age did infants discriminate these novel, yet affectively similar, musical excerpts. In Experiment 3, we examined 5-, 7-, and 9-month-olds' discrimination of individual excerpts rated as affectively similar. Only the 9-month-olds discriminated the affectively similar individual excerpts. Results are discussed in terms of infants' ability to discriminate affect across a variety of events and its relevance for later social-communicative development.
... from? Born Happy? Part of happiness depends on personality. Some people have a naturally happy nature. We ... and optimistic most of the time. Their upbeat personalities make it easier for them to be happy. ...
DFARHUD, Dariush; MALMIR, Maryam; KHANAHMADI, Mohammad
Abstract Happiness underlying factors are considerable from two dimensions: endogenic factors (biological, cognitive, personality and ethical sub-factors) and exogenic factors (behavioral, socialcultural, economical, geographical, life events and aesthetics sub-factors). Among all endogenic factors, biological sub-factors are the significant predictors of happiness. Existence of significant differences in temperament and happiness of infants is an indicator of biological influences. Therefore, this study aimed to consider biological factors that underlie happiness. At the first, all of the biological factors in relation with happiness were searched from following websites: PubMed, Wiley& Sons, Science direct (1990–2014). Then, the articles divided into five sub-groups (genetic, brain and neurotransmitters, endocrinology and hormones, physical health, morphology and physical attractiveness). Finally, a systematic review performed based on existing information. Results of studies on genetic factors indicated an average effectiveness of genetic about 35 -50 percent on happiness. In spite of difficulties in finding special genes, several genes distributed to emotion and mood. Neuroscience studies showed that some part of brain (e.g. amygdala, hipocamp and limbic system) and neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, norepinefrine and endorphin) play a role in control of happiness. A few studies pointed to the role of cortisol and adrenaline (adrenal gland) and oxitocin (pituitary gland) in controlling happiness. Physical health and typology also concluded in most related studies to have a significant role in happiness. Therefore, according to previous research, it can be said that biological and health factors are critical in underlying happiness and its role in happiness is undeniable. PMID:26060713
Dfarhud, Dariush; Malmir, Maryam; Khanahmadi, Mohammad
Happiness underlying factors are considerable from two dimensions: endogenic factors (biological, cognitive, personality and ethical sub-factors) and exogenic factors (behavioral, socialcultural, economical, geographical, life events and aesthetics sub-factors). Among all endogenic factors, biological sub-factors are the significant predictors of happiness. Existence of significant differences in temperament and happiness of infants is an indicator of biological influences. Therefore, this study aimed to consider biological factors that underlie happiness. At the first, all of the biological factors in relation with happiness were searched from following websites: PubMed, Wiley& Sons, Science direct (1990-2014). Then, the articles divided into five sub-groups (genetic, brain and neurotransmitters, endocrinology and hormones, physical health, morphology and physical attractiveness). Finally, a systematic review performed based on existing information. Results of studies on genetic factors indicated an average effectiveness of genetic about 35 -50 percent on happiness. In spite of difficulties in finding special genes, several genes distributed to emotion and mood. Neuroscience studies showed that some part of brain (e.g. amygdala, hipocamp and limbic system) and neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, norepinefrine and endorphin) play a role in control of happiness. A few studies pointed to the role of cortisol and adrenaline (adrenal gland) and oxitocin (pituitary gland) in controlling happiness. Physical health and typology also concluded in most related studies to have a significant role in happiness. Therefore, according to previous research, it can be said that biological and health factors are critical in underlying happiness and its role in happiness is undeniable.
Greenberg, Daniel L; Bishara, Anthony J; Mugayar-Baldocchi, Marino A
Studies of childhood memory typically show that our earliest memories come from between three and four years of age. This finding is not universal, however. The age estimate varies across cultures and is affected by social influences. Research from the judgments and decision-making literature suggests that these estimates might also involve a judgment under uncertainty. Therefore, they might be susceptible to less social influences such as heuristics and biases. To investigate this possibility, we conducted two experiments that used anchoring paradigms to influence participants' estimates of their age during early autobiographical memories. In Experiment 1, participants answered either a high-anchor or a low-anchor question, and were warned that the anchor was uninformative; they went on to estimate their age during their earliest autobiographical memory. In Experiment 2, we replicated Experiment 1 and extended the design to examine additional early autobiographical memories. In both experiments, participants in the low-anchor condition gave earlier age estimates than those in the high-anchor condition. These results provide new insights into the methods used to investigate autobiographical memory. Moreover, they show that reports of early autobiographical memories can be influenced by a relatively light touch - a change to a single digit in a single question.
Ricarte, J J; Ros, L; Latorre, J M; Watkins, E
Increasing evidence suggests that impaired autobiographical memory (AM) mechanisms may be associated with the onset and maintenance of psychopathology. However, there is not yet a comprehensive review of the components of autobiographical memory in schizophrenic patients. The first aim of this review is a synthesis of evidence about the functioning of AM in schizophrenic patients. The main autobiographical elements reviewed in schizophrenic patients include the study of overgeneral memory (form); self-defining memories (contents); consciousness during the process of retrieval (awareness), and the abnormal early reminiscence bump (distribution). AM impairments have been involved in the clinical diagnosis and prognosis of other psychopathologies, especially depression. The second aim is to examine potential parallels between the mechanisms responsible for the onset and maintenance of disturbed AM in other clinical diagnosis and the mechanisms of disturbed autobiographical memory functioning in schizophrenic patients. Cognitive therapies for schizophrenic patients are increasingly demanded. The third aim is the suggestion of key elements for the adaptation of components of autobiographical recall in cognitive therapies for the treatment of symptoms and consequences of schizophrenia.
Dutra, Tarcísio Gomes; Kurtinaitis, Laila da Camara Lima; Cantilino, Amaury; Vasconcelos, Maria Carolina Souto de; Hazin, Izabel; Sougey, Everton Botelho
This article aims to review studies focusing on the relationship between overgeneral autobiographical memory and depressive disorders. Such characteristic has attracted attention because of its relationship with a poor ability to solve problems and to imagine the future, as well as with the maintenance and a poor prognosis of depression. Data were collected through a systematic search on LILACS, SciELO, MEDLINE, and IBECS databases, and also on the health sciences records of Portal de Periódicos da Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), a Brazilian journal database, focusing on articles published between 2000 and 2010. The following keywords were used: memória autobiográfica, supergeneralização da memória autobiográfica, and memória autobiográfica e depressão in Portuguese; and autobiographical memory, overgeneral autobiographical memory, and autobiographical memory and depression in English. Following application of exclusion criteria, a total of 27 studies were reviewed. Overgeneral autobiographical memory has been investigated in several depressive disorders. However, further longitudinal studies are required to confirm the relevant role of this cognitive characteristic in anamnesis and in the treatment of mood disorders.
Preskorn, Sheldon H.; Victor, Teresa; Misaki, Masaya; Bodurka, Jerzy; Drevets, Wayne C.
Background: Acutely elevated cortisol levels in healthy humans impair autobiographical memory recall and alter hemodynamic responses of the amygdala to emotionally valenced stimuli. It is hypothesized that the effects of the cortisol on cognition are influenced by the ratio of mineralocorticoid receptor to glucocorticoid receptor occupation. The current study examined the effects of acutely blocking mineralocorticoid receptors and glucocorticoid receptors separately on 2 processes known to be affected by altering levels of cortisol: the specificity of autobiographical memory recall, and the amygdala hemodynamic response to sad and happy faces. Methods: We employed a within-subjects design in which 10 healthy male participants received placebo, the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone (600mg) alone, and the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone (600mg) alone in a randomized, counter-balanced order separated by 1-week drug-free periods. Results: On autobiographical memory testing, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism impaired, while glucocorticoid receptor antagonism improved, recall relative to placebo, as evinced by changes in the percent of specific memories recalled. During fMRI, the amygdala hemodynamic response to masked sad faces was greater under both mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor antagonism relative to placebo, while the response to masked happy faces was attenuated only during mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism relative to placebo. Conclusions: These data suggest both mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor antagonism (and potentially any deviation from the normal physiological mineralocorticoid receptor/glucocorticoid receptor ratio achieved under the circadian pattern) enhances amygdala-based processing of sad stimuli and may shift the emotional processing bias away from the normative processing bias and towards the negative valence. In contrast, autobiographical memory was enhanced by
Brown, Norman R; Lee, Peter J; Krslak, Mirna; Conrad, Frederick G; G B Hansen, Tia; Havelka, Jelena; Reddon, John R
Memories of war, terrorism, and natural disaster play a critical role in the construction of group identity and the persistence of group conflict. Here, we argue that personal memory and knowledge of the collective past become entwined only when public events have a direct, forceful, and prolonged impact on a population. Support for this position comes from a cross-national study in which participants thought aloud as they dated mundane autobiographical events. We found that Bosnians often mentioned their civil war and that Izmit Turks made frequent reference to the 1999 earthquake in their country. In contrast, public events were rarely mentioned by Serbs, Montenegrins, Ankara Turks, Canadians, Danes, or Israelis. Surprisingly, historical references were absent from (post-September 11) protocols collected in New York City and elsewhere in the United States. Taken together, these findings indicate that it is personal significance, not historical importance, that determines whether public events play a role in organizing autobiographical memory.
Pernot-Marino, Elodie; Schuster, Caroline; Hedelin, Guy; Berna, Fabrice; Zimmermann, Marie-Agathe; Danion, Jean-Marie
The frequency of true and false autobiographical memories and associated states of conscious awareness, i.e., conscious recollection and simply knowing, as well as the respective roles of affective and cognitive processes in autobiographical memory construction, were assessed in eight patients with schizophrenia and eight control participants. A diary study methodology was used in combination with the Remember/Know procedure. The results showed a higher frequency of Know responses associated with the retrieval of both true and false memories in patients than in control participants. Whereas control participants rated higher at retrieval than at encoding the distinctiveness and personal importance of events, as well as the extent to which events furthered current personal plans, patients exhibited an opposite pattern of ratings, with ratings being lower at retrieval than at encoding. These preliminary results show a high frequency of simply knowing associated with the retrieval of true and false autobiographical memories in patients with schizophrenia and provide evidence for the interest of the diary study methodology for studying autobiographical memory in schizophrenia.
Berna, Fabrice; Göritz, Anja S; Schröder, Johanna; Martin, Brice; Cermolacce, Michel; Allé, Mélissa C; Danion, Jean-Marie; Cuervo-Lombard, Christine V; Moritz, Steffen
Patients with schizophrenia and people with subclinical psychotic symptoms have difficulties getting a clear and stable representation of their self. The cognitive mechanisms involved in this reduced clarity of self-concept remain poorly understood. The present study examined whether an altered way of thinking or reasoning about one's past may account for the reduced clarity of self-concept in individuals with attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS). An online study comprising 667 participants examined the capacity to give a meaning to past events and to scrutinize autobiographical memory to better understand him/herself. Our results showed that in this sample, individuals with APS (n=49) have a lower clarity of self-concept and a higher tendency to scrutinize autobiographical memory than controls subjects (n=147). A mediation analysis performed on the full sample revealed that the relation between APS and clarity of self-concept was mediated by a tendency to scrutinize autobiographical memory. Our results suggest that the weakness of self-concept, which increases with the intensity of psychotic symptoms, may be related to an altered function of autobiographical memory, so that examining past events may fail to sustain a stable and clear representation of the self when psychotic symptoms increase.
Noreen, Saima; MacLeod, Malcolm D.
Using a novel autobiographical think/no-think procedure (ATNT; a modified version of the think/no-think task), 2 studies explored the extent to which we possess executive control over autobiographical memory. In Study 1, 30 never-depressed participants generated 12 positive and 12 negative autobiographical memories. Memories associated with…
Oishi, Shigehiro; Kesebir, Selin; Diener, Ed
Using General Social Survey data from 1972 to 2008, we found that Americans were on average happier in the years with less national income inequality than in the years with more national income inequality. We further demonstrated that this inverse relation between income inequality and happiness was explained by perceived fairness and general trust. That is, Americans trusted other people less and perceived other people to be less fair in the years with more national income inequality than in the years with less national income inequality. The negative association between income inequality and happiness held for lower-income respondents, but not for higher-income respondents. Most important, we found that the negative link between income inequality and the happiness of lower-income respondents was explained not by lower household income, but by perceived unfairness and lack of trust.
Hung, Lynette; Bryant, Richard A.
The impact of anger on autobiographical recall was examined in two studies. In Experiment 1, 76 participants differing in trait anger completed an autobiographical memory task (AMT). In Experiment 2, 50 participants with elevated trait anger were either provoked or not provoked and subsequently completed an AMT. Across both studies, participants with high dispositional anger reported more anger-related memories, describing themselves as the primary agent of anger. In Experiment 2, provoked participants reported more memories describing themselves as the target of anger. These findings highlight the distinct patterns of memory recall associated with trait versus state anger. Findings are discussed in terms of retrieval biases operating in angry individuals and proposals stemming from self-memory system models of autobiographical memory. PMID:27023327
Ip, Po Keung
Discourses on Chinese folk happiness are often based on anecdotal narratives or qualitative analysis. Two traditional concepts of happiness popular in Chinese culture are introduced. The paper constructs a concept of Chinese folk happiness on basis of the findings of a scientific survey on the Taiwanese people regarding their concepts of…
Uusitalo-Malmivaara, Lotta; Kankaanpaa, Paula; Makinen, Tuula; Raeluoto, Tiina; Rauttu, Karoliina; Tarhala, Veera; Lehto, Juhani E.
This study compared the subjective and school-related happiness of 75 11- to 16-year-old special education students to 77 age- and gender-matched mainstream students using two quantitative measures. Additionally, the respondents chose from a list of 12 putative happy makers what they felt increased their happiness. Ten special education students…
Urbanowitsch, Nadja; Gorenc, Lina; Herold, Christina J; Schröder, Johannes
Autobiographical memory (ABM) comprises memories of one's own past that are characterized by a sense of subjective time and autonoetic awareness. Although ABM deficits are among the primary symptoms of patients with major psychiatric conditions such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer Disease (AD) or chronic schizophrenia large clinical studies are scarce. We therefore summarize and discuss the results of our clinical studies on ABM deficits in the respective conditions. In these studies ABM was assessed by using the same instrument - i.e., the Erweitertes Autobiographisches Gedächtnis Inventar (E-AGI) - thus allowing a direct comparison between diagnostic groups. Episodic ABM, especially the richness of details was impaired already in MCI and in beginning AD. Semantic memories were spared until moderate stages, indicating a dissociation between both memory systems. A recency effect was detectable in cognitively unimpaired subjects and vanished in patients with AD. A similar pattern of deficits was found in patients with chronic schizophrenia but not in patients with major depression. These ABM deficits were not accounted for by gender, or education level and did not apply for the physiological ageing process in otherwise healthy elderly. In conclusion, ABM deficits are frequently found in AD and chronic schizophrenia and primarily involve episodic rather than semantic memories. This dissociation corresponds to the multiple trace theory which hypothesized that these memory functions refer to distinct neuronal systems. The semi-structured interview E-AGI used to discern ABM changes provided a sufficient reliability measures, moreover potential effects of a number of important confounders could be falsified so far. These findings underline the relevance of ABM-assessments in clinical practice.
Gadeikis, Darius; Bos, Nikita; Schweizer, Susanne; Murphy, Fionnuala; Dunn, Barnaby
It is important to identify effective emotion regulation strategies to increase positive emotion experience in the general population and in clinical conditions characterized by anhedonia. There are indications that engaging in experiential processing (direct awareness of sensory and bodily experience) bolsters positive emotion experience but this has not been extensively tested during memory recall. To further test this notion, 99 community participants recalled two positive autobiographical memories. Prior to the second recall, participants either underwent an experiential, analytical, or distraction induction (n = 33 per condition). Subjective happiness and sadness ratings and heart rate variability (HRV) response were measured during each recall. Greater spontaneous use of experiential processing during the first memory was associated with greater happiness experience, but was unrelated to HRV and sadness experience. Inducing experiential processing increased happiness experience relative to both the analytical and distraction conditions (but had no impact on sadness experience). There was a significant difference in HRV between conditions. The experiential condition led to a trend-significant increase, and the other conditions a non-significant decrease, in HRV from the first to the second memory. These results suggest that engaging in experiential processing is an effective way to up-regulate positive emotion experience during positive memory recall.
Mills, Caitlin; D'Mello, Sidney
The Autobiographical Emotional Memory Task (AEMT), which involves recalling and writing about intense emotional experiences, is a widely used method to experimentally induce emotions. The validity of this method depends upon the extent to which it can induce specific desired emotions (intended emotions), while not inducing any other (incidental) emotions at different levels across one (or more) conditions. A review of recent studies that used this method indicated that most studies exclusively monitor post-writing ratings of the intended emotions, without assessing the possibility that the method may have differentially induced other incidental emotions as well. We investigated the extent of this issue by collecting both pre- and post-writing ratings of incidental emotions in addition to the intended emotions. Using methods largely adapted from previous studies, participants were assigned to write about a profound experience of anger or fear (Experiment 1) or happiness or sadness (Experiment 2). In line with previous research, results indicated that intended emotions (anger and fear) were successfully induced in the respective conditions in Experiment 1. However, disgust and sadness were also induced while writing about an angry experience compared to a fearful experience. Similarly, although happiness and sadness were induced in the appropriate conditions, Experiment 2 indicated that writing about a sad experience also induced disgust, fear, and anger, compared to writing about a happy experience. Possible resolutions to avoid the limitations of the AEMT to induce specific discrete emotions are discussed. PMID:24776697
Riutort, Marielle; Cuervo, Christine; Danion, Jean-Marie; Peretti, Charles Siegfried; Salamé, Pierre
Autobiographical memory is intrinsically related to the self and personal identity. This study investigated whether both personal episodic memory and semantic memory are impaired in schizophrenia, a disease characterized by an abnormal personal identity. Personal episodic memory and personal semantic memory were investigated in 24 patients with schizophrenia and 24 normal subjects using an autobiographical fluency task and an autobiographical memory inquiry. Autobiographical memory scores and the proportion of specific memories were lower in patients with schizophrenia than in normal subjects. The deficit of personal episodic and semantic memory, as assessed by the autobiographical memory inquiry and the autobiographical fluency task, respectively, was most apparent after the onset of clinical symptoms. Schizophrenia is associated with an impairment of both personal episodic and semantic memory and with a reduction of specific autobiographical memories. Those impairments are consistent with the existence of an abnormal personal identity in patients with schizophrenia.
Kyung, Yoonhee; Yanes-Lukin, Paula; Roberts, John E
Research on autobiographical memory has focused on whether memories are coded as specific (i.e., describe a single event that happened at a particular time and place). Although some theory and research suggests that the amount of detail in autobiographical memories reflects a similar underlying construct as memory specificity, past research has not investigated whether these variables converge. Therefore, the present study compared the proportion of specific memories and the amount of detail embedded in memory responses to cue words. Results demonstrated that memory detail and proportion of specific memories were not correlated with each other and showed different patterns of association with other conceptually relevant variables. When responses to neutral cue words were examined in multiple linear and logistic regression analyses, the proportion of specific memories uniquely predicted less depressive symptoms, low emotional avoidance, lower emotion reactivity, better executive control and lower rumination, whereas the amount of memory detail uniquely predicted the presence of depression diagnosis, as well as greater depressive symptoms, subjective stress, emotion reactivity and rumination. Findings suggest that the ability to retrieve specific memories and the tendency to retrieve detailed personal memories reflect different constructs that have different implications in the development of emotional distress.
Zeece, Pauline Davey
Current research on the foundations of emotional well-being reveals how significant adults can establish roots of happiness in children. Carter (2005) suggests that these roots can be nourished through positive thoughts and emotions; flow and fulfillment; and relating to others, especially through the use of emotional intelligence. Twenty-five…
Thousands of lesbian, gay and bisexual people have entered civil partnerships since 2005. The change in the law has, arguably, opened the legal and health benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. In this article, nurses explain that being in a civil partnership has removed practical difficulties and brought increased security and happiness.
Demir, Melikşah; Doğan, Aysun; Procsal, Amanda D
Friends usually share positive events in their lives with each other. Referred to as capitalization, this process promotes individual happiness when the discloser perceives that the responses display genuine support. Yet, the specific mechanisms explaining why capitalization is associated with happiness are not known. The present study addresses this empirical issue by testing a mediational model positing that friendship quality would mediate the relationship between capitalization and happiness among U.S. and Turkish college students. Although the psychosocial well-being of the U.S. participants was significantly higher than Turkish participants, the proposed model was supported in both groups. This suggests that part of the reason capitalization is associated with happiness is because of friendship experiences. The authors also provide suggestions for future research.
Marini, Maddalena; Agosta, Sara; Sartori, Giuseppe
The autobiographical IAT (aIAT) is an implicit behavioral instrument that can detect autobiographical memories encoded in an individual's mind by measuring how quickly this person can categorize and associate sentences related to a specific event with the logical dimensions true and false. Faster categorization when an event (e.g., I went to Paris) is associated with the dimension true than false indicates that that specific event is encoded as true in the individual's mind. The aim of this study is to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of the aIAT, used as a memory-detection technique (i.e., to identify which of two events is true). To this end, we recorded ERPs while participants performed an aIAT assessing which of two playing cards they had previously selected. We found an increased N200 and a decreased LPC (or P300) at the fronto-central sites when participants associated the selected playing card with the dimension false than true. Notably, both components have been previously and consistently reported in studies investigating deception. These results suggest that associating a true autobiographical event with the concept of false may involve the same cognitive processes associated with deception. PMID:27625598
Marini, Maddalena; Agosta, Sara; Sartori, Giuseppe
The autobiographical IAT (aIAT) is an implicit behavioral instrument that can detect autobiographical memories encoded in an individual's mind by measuring how quickly this person can categorize and associate sentences related to a specific event with the logical dimensions true and false. Faster categorization when an event (e.g., I went to Paris) is associated with the dimension true than false indicates that that specific event is encoded as true in the individual's mind. The aim of this study is to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of the aIAT, used as a memory-detection technique (i.e., to identify which of two events is true). To this end, we recorded ERPs while participants performed an aIAT assessing which of two playing cards they had previously selected. We found an increased N200 and a decreased LPC (or P300) at the fronto-central sites when participants associated the selected playing card with the dimension false than true. Notably, both components have been previously and consistently reported in studies investigating deception. These results suggest that associating a true autobiographical event with the concept of false may involve the same cognitive processes associated with deception.
Jobson, Laura; O'Kearney, Richard
This study investigated cultural differences in autobiographical memory of trauma. Australian and Asian international students provided self-defining memories, narratives of everyday and trauma memories and self-reports assessing adjustment to the trauma. No cultural distinction was found in how Australian or Asian subjects remembered a personal…
Bluck, Susan; Alea, Nicole
The characteristics of positive autobiographical memory narratives were examined in younger and older adults. Narratives were content-coded for the extent to which they contained indicators of affect, sensory imagery, and cognition. Affect was additionally assessed through self-report. Young adults expressed more positive affect and less sensory…
Barnier, Amanda J.; Conway, Martin A.; Mayoh, Lyndel; Speyer, Joanne; Avizmil, Orit; Harris, Celia B.
In 6 experiments, the authors investigated list-method directed forgetting of recently recalled autobiographical memories. Reliable directed forgetting effects were observed across all experiments. In 4 experiments, the authors examined the impact of memory valence on directed forgetting. The forget instruction impaired recall of negative,…
By honoring the narrative complexity of personal identity, adult educators can assist older persons in the process of autobiographical learning, that is, learning about themselves and from themselves by reflecting on the stories through which they have defined themselves across the years. In this chapter, the author aims to sketch a conceptual…
El Haj, Mohamad; Kapogiannis, Dimitrios; Antoine, Pascal
Multiple studies have shown compromise of autobiographical memory and phenomenological reliving in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We investigated various phenomenological features of autobiographical memory to determine their relative vulnerability in AD. To this aim, participants with early AD and cognitively normal older adult controls were asked to retrieve an autobiographical event and rate on a 5-point scale metacognitive judgments (i.e., reliving, back in time, remembering, and realness), component processes (i.e., visual imagery, auditory imagery, language, and emotion), narrative properties (i.e., rehearsal and importance), and spatiotemporal specificity (i.e., spatial details and temporal details). AD participants showed lower general autobiographical recall than controls, and poorer reliving, travel in time, remembering, realness, visual imagery, auditory imagery, language, rehearsal, and spatial detail – a decrease that was especially pronounced for visual imagery. Yet, AD participants showed high rating for emotion and importance. Early AD seems to compromise many phenomenological features, especially visual imagery, but also seems to preserve some other features. PMID:27003216
McDonnell, Christina G; Valentino, Kristin; Comas, Michelle; Nuttall, Amy K
Mother-child reminiscing, the process by which mothers and their children discuss past events and emotional experiences, has been robustly linked with child outcomes, including autobiographical memory. To advance previous work linking elaborative maternal reminiscing with child autobiographical memory specificity, the ability to generate and retrieve specific memories from one's past, it is essential to make distinctions among aspects of elaboration and to consider how maternal risk factors may influence the reminiscing context. The current study evaluated (a) an interaction between emotional and structural elaboration predicting child autobiographical memory specificity and (b) the potential moderating role of maternal adult attachment. Participants consisted of 95 preschool-aged children and their mothers. The sample was predominantly low income and racially diverse. Dyads completed a reminiscing task that was coded for emotional and structural elaboration. Mothers completed the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire (ECR-R) to assess attachment-related avoidance and anxiety, and children completed the Autobiographical Memory Test-Preschool Version (AMT-PV) to assess memory specificity. Results indicated that the association between structural reminiscing and child memory specificity was moderated by emotional elements of reminiscing. At high levels of emotional elaboration, mothers with high levels of structural elaboration had children with more specific memory than mothers with low levels of structural elaboration. Moreover, emotional elaboration (a) predicted less specific child memory without high structural support and (b) negatively predicted child specificity at high levels of maternal attachment avoidance and anxiety, a profile associated with fearful avoidance. Future directions and implications are discussed.
Holland, Carol A; Ridout, Nathan; Walford, Edward; Geraghty, Jennifer
The current study examined the role of executive function in retrieval of specific autobiographical memories in older adults with regard to control of emotion during retrieval. Older and younger adults retrieved memories of specific events in response to emotionally positive, negative and neutral word cues. Contributions of inhibitory and updating elements of executive function to variance in autobiographical specificity were assessed to determine processes involved in the commonly found age-related reduction in specificity. A negative relationship between age and specificity was only found in retrieval to neutral cues. Alternative explanations of this age preservation of specificity of emotional recall are explored, within the context of control of emotion in the self-memory system and preserved emotional processing and positivity effect in older adults. The pattern of relationships suggests updating, rather than inhibition, as the source of age-related reduction in specificity, but that emotional processing (particularly of positively valenced memories) is not influenced by age-related variance in executive control. The tendency of older adults to focus on positive material may thus act as a buffer against detrimental effects of reduced executive function capacity on autobiographical retrieval, representing a possible target for interventions to improve specificity of autobiographical memory retrieval in older adults.
Bohn, Annette; Habermas, Tilmann
This study examines predictions from two theories on the organisation of autobiographical memory: Cultural Life Script Theory which conceptualises the organisation of autobiographical memory by cultural schemata, and Transition Theory which proposes that people organise their memories in relation to personal events that changed the fabric of their daily lives, or in relation to negative collective public transitions, called the Living-in-History effect. Predictions from both theories were tested in forty-eight-old Germans from Berlin and Northern Germany. We tested whether the Living-in-History effect exists for both negative (the Second World War) and positive (Fall of Berlin Wall) collectively experienced events, and whether cultural life script events serve as a prominent strategy to date personal memories. Results showed a powerful, long-lasting Living-in History effect for the negative, but not the positive event. Berlin participants dated 26% of their memories in relation to the Second World War. Supporting cultural life script theory, life script events were frequently used to date personal memories. This provides evidence that people use a combination of culturally transmitted knowledge and knowledge based on personal experience to navigate through their autobiographical memories, and that experiencing war has a lasting impact on the organisation of autobiographical memories across the life span.
McKinnon, Margaret C.; Palombo, Daniela J.; Nazarov, Anthony; Kumar, Namita; Khuu, Wayne; Levine, Brian
We investigated autobiographical memory in a group of passengers onboard a trans-Atlantic flight that nearly ditched at sea. The consistency of traumatic exposure across passengers, some of whom developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), provided a unique opportunity to assess verified memory for life-threatening trauma. Using the Autobiographical Interview, which separates episodic from non-episodic details, passengers and healthy controls (HCs) recalled three events: the airline disaster (or a highly negative event for HCs), the September 11, 2001 attacks, and a non-emotional event. All passengers showed robust mnemonic enhancement for episodic details of the airline disaster. Although neither richness nor accuracy of traumatic recollection was related to PTSD, production of non-episodic details for traumatic and non-traumatic events was elevated in PTSD passengers. These findings indicate a robust mnemonic enhancement for trauma that is not specific to PTSD. Rather, PTSD is associated with altered cognitive control operations that affect autobiographical memory in general. PMID:26167422
Bird, Amy; Reese, Elaine
According to autobiographical memory theorists, past event conversations provide children with a framework for evaluating and connecting past events into a coherent autobiography (R. Fivush, 1994; K. Nelson, 1993; M. K. Welch-Ross, 1995). Two studies were conducted to empirically examine the association between past event conversation style and an independent measure of children's self-concept consistency. In Study 1, 50 New Zealand mothers discussed everyday past events with their children at 51 and 65 months of age. In Study 2, 51 New Zealand parents discussed 1 positive and 3 negative past events with their 5- and 6-year-old children. The consistency of children's self-views was assessed in both studies using the Children's Self-View Questionnaire (R. Eder, 1990). Children's self-concept consistency was moderately associated with greater explanation of the causes and consequences of children's negative emotions, resolution through social contact, and evaluation of positive events but not with simple attributions of emotion. These findings implicate parent-child conversations as a medium through which children can begin to understand the personal meaning of past experiences.
Berna, Fabrice; Göritz, Anja S; Schröder, Johanna; Coutelle, Romain; Danion, Jean-Marie; Cuervo-Lombard, Christine V; Moritz, Steffen
The present web-based study (N = 840) aimed to illuminate the cognitive mechanisms underlying self-disorders in autism. Initially, participants selected three self-defining memories. Then, we assessed their capacity to give meaning to these events (i.e., meaning making), their tendency to scrutinize autobiographical memory to better understand themselves (i.e., self-continuity function of autobiographical memory) and their clarity of self-concept. The results showed that individuals with high autistic traits (ATs) had a lower clarity of self-concept than control participants. Meaning making was also reduced in AT individuals and mediated the relation between AT and self-concept clarity. Our results suggest that the reduced clarity of self-concept in AT individuals is related to an impaired capacity to make meaning of important past life events.
Kalmijn, W. M.; Arends, L. R.; Veenhoven, R.
The Happiness Scale Interval Study deals with survey questions on happiness, using verbal response options, such as "very happy" and "pretty happy". The aim is to estimate what degrees of happiness are denoted by such terms in different questions and languages. These degrees are expressed in numerical values on a continuous…
Clark, Ian A.; Mackay, Clare E.; Holmes, Emily A.
Involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) are typically discussed in the context of negative memories such as trauma ‘flashbacks’. However, IAMs occur frequently in everyday life and are predominantly positive. In spite of this, surprisingly little is known about how such positive IAMs arise. The trauma film paradigm is often used to generate negative IAMs. Recently an equivalent positive film was developed inducing positive IAMs (Davies, Malik, Pictet, Blackwell, & Holmes, 2012). The current study is the first to investigate which variables (emotional reaction to the film; recognition memory of the film; participant characteristics) would best predict the frequency of positive IAMs. Higher levels of positive mood change to the film were significantly associated with the number of positive IAMs recorded in the subsequent week. Results demonstrate the importance of positive emotional reaction at the time of an event for subsequent positive IAMs. PMID:23416539
This study examined the emergence of cultural self-constructs as reflected in children's remembered and conceptual aspects of the self. European American and Chinese children in preschool through 2nd grade participated (N=180). Children each recounted 4 autobiographical events and described themselves in response to open-ended questions. American…
Wang, Qi; Hutt, Rachel; Kulkofsky, Sarah; McDermott, Melissa; Wei, Ruohong
This study examined the influence of children's emotion situation knowledge (EK) on their autobiographical memory ability at both group and individual levels. Native Chinese, Chinese immigrant, and European American 3-year-old children participated (N = 189). During a home visit, children recounted 2 personal memories of recent, 1-time events with…
Goldman, Sylvie; DeNigris, Danielle
Conversations about the past support the development of autobiographical memory. Parents' strategies to elicit child's participation and recall during past event conversations were compared across three school-age diagnostic groups: autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 11), developmental language disorders (n = 11) and typically developing (TD,…
Wenas, Annabelle; Sjahputri, Smita; Takwin, Bagus; Primaldhi, Alfindra; Muhamad, Roby
The ability to know emotional states for large number of people is important, for example, to ensure the effectiveness of public policies. In this study, we propose a measure of happiness that can be used in large scale population that is based on the analysis of Indonesian language lexicons. Here, we incorporate human assessment of Indonesian words, then quantify happiness on large-scale of texts gathered from twitter conversations. We used two psychological constructs to measure happiness: valence and arousal. We found that Indonesian words have tendency towards positive emotions. We also identified several happiness patterns during days of the week, hours of the day, and selected conversation topics.
Kelly, Michael P
Working within frameworks drawn from the writings of Immanuel Kant, Alfred Schutz, and Kenneth Burke, this article examines the role that diagnostic categories play in autobiographical accounts of illness, with a special focus on chronic disease. Four lay diagnostic categories, each with different connections to formal medical diagnostic categories, serve as typifications to make sense of the way the lifeworld changes over the course of chronic illness. These diagnostic categories are used in conjunction with another set of typifications: lay epidemiologies, lay etiologies, lay prognostics, and lay therapeutics. Together these serve to construct and reconstruct the self at the center of the lifeworld. Embedded within the lay diagnostic categories are narratives of progression, regression, or stability, forms of typification derived from literary and storytelling genres. These narratives are developed by the self in autobiographical accounts of illness.
The personal functions of autobiographical memory build on the basic biological functions of memory common to most mammals that, however, do not have the kind of episodic memories that compose human autobiographical memory according to present theory. The thesis here is that personal autobiographical memory is functionally and structurally related to the use of cultural myths and social narratives, and that the relative emphasis put on the self in different cultural and social contexts influences the form and function of autobiographical memory and the need for developing a uniquely personal life narrative in those contexts. Historical and cross-cultural trends revealed in psychological and literary research are invoked to support this thesis.
Debeer, Elise; Raes, Filip; Williams, J Mark G; Craeynest, Miet; Hermans, Dirk
Functional avoidance is considered as one of the key mechanisms underlying overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM). According to this view OGM is regarded as a learned cognitive avoidance strategy, based on principles of operant conditioning; i.e., individuals learn to avoid the emotionally painful consequences associated with the retrieval of specific negative memories. The aim of the present study was to test one of the basic assumptions of the functional avoidance account, namely that autobiographical memory retrieval can be brought under operant control. Here 41 students were instructed to retrieve personal memories in response to 60 emotional cue words. Depending on the condition, they were punished with an aversive sound for the retrieval of specific or nonspecific memories in an operant conditioning procedure. Analyzes showed that the course of memory specificity significantly differed between conditions. After the procedure participants punished for nonspecific memories retrieved significantly more specific memories compared to participants punished for specific memories. However, whereas memory specificity significantly increased in participants punished for specific memories, it did not significantly decrease in participants punished for nonspecific memories. Thus, while our findings indicate that autobiographical memory retrieval can be brought under operant control, they do not support a functional avoidance view on OGM.
Sustainable happiness is "happiness that contributes to individual, community and/or global well-being without exploiting other people, the environment or future generations" (O'Brien, 2010a, n.p.). It underscores the interrelationship between human flourishing and ecological resilience. At the national and international levels,…
Paiva, Bianca Sakamoto Ribeiro; de Camargos, Mayara Goulart; Demarzo, Marcelo Marcos Piva; Hervás, Gonzalo; Vázquez, Carmelo; Paiva, Carlos Eduardo
Abstract The Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI) is a recently developed integrative measure of well-being that includes components of hedonic, eudaimonic, social, and experienced well-being. The PHI has been validated in several languages, but not in Portuguese. Our aim was to cross-culturally adapt the Universal Portuguese version of the PHI and to assess its psychometric properties in a sample of the Brazilian population using online surveys. An expert committee evaluated 2 versions of the PHI previously translated into Portuguese by the original authors using a standardized form for assessment of semantic/idiomatic, cultural, and conceptual equivalence. A pretesting was conducted employing cognitive debriefing methods. In sequence, the expert committee evaluated all the documents and reached a final Universal Portuguese PHI version. For the evaluation of the psychometric properties, the data were collected using online surveys in a cross-sectional study. The study population included healthcare professionals and users of the social network site Facebook from several Brazilian geographic areas. In addition to the PHI, participants completed the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Diener and Emmons’ Positive and Negative Experience Scale (PNES), Psychological Well-being Scale (PWS), and the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS). Internal consistency, convergent validity, known-group validity, and test–retest reliability were evaluated. Satisfaction with the previous day was correlated with the 10 items assessing experienced well-being using the Cramer V test. Additionally, a cut-off value of PHI to identify a “happy individual” was defined using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve methodology. Data from 1035 Brazilian participants were analyzed (health professionals = 180; Facebook users = 855). Regarding reliability results, the internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = 0.890 and 0.914) and test–retest (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.814) were
Aassve, Arnstein; Goisis, Alice; Sironi, Maria
Using happiness as a well-being measure and comparative data from the European social survey we focus in this paper on the link between happiness and childbearing across European countries. The analysis motivates from the recent lows in fertility in many European countries and that economic wellbeing measures are problematic when considering…
Happiness research provides guidance on what academics can do to increase their satisfaction at work. Changes in external circumstances, such as salary rises, seldom have a lasting effect. More likely to improve long-term happiness levels are exercising well-developed skills, building strong relationships, helping others and cultivating…
Robinson, John P.; Martin, Steven
Little attention in the quality-of-life literature has been paid to data on the daily activity patterns of happy and less happy people. Using ratings-scale information from time-diary studies, this article examines the hypothesis that people who describe themselves as happier engage in certain activities more than those who describe themselves as…
Rutledge, Essie M.
According to a study of 256 black married women between the ages of 26 and 60 living with their spouses, marital happiness is more common among black women than marital unhappiness. This finding is based on the secondary analysis of a sample of data collected in Detroit in 1968-1969. Variables statistically significant to the marital happiness of…
Lopes, Teresa Silveira; Afonso, Rosa Marina Lopes Brás Martins; Ribeiro, Óscar Manuel
Working with past memories through reminiscence interventions has been practiced for several decades with successful outcomes on mental health in older adults. Few studies however have focused on autobiographical memory recall in older individuals with cognitive impairment. This study aims to analyze the impact of an individual reminiscence program in a group of older persons with cognitive decline living in nursing homes on the dimensions of cognition, autobiographical memory, mood, behavior and anxiety. A two-group pre-test and post-test design with single blinded assessment was conducted. Forty-one participants were randomized to an experimental group (n=20) and a control group (n=21). The first group attended five weekly individual reminiscence sessions. Changes in the outcome measures were examined for cognition (Montreal Cognitive Assessment; Autobiographical Memory Test), behavior (Alzheimer Disease Assessment Subscale Non-Cog) and emotional status (Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia; Geriatric Depression Scale, and Geriatric Anxiety Inventory). Participants attending reminiscence sessions exhibited better outcomes compared to the control group in cognition, anxiety and depression (p<0.001), and presented a higher number of retrieved autobiographical events, specificity of evoked memories and positive valence of events (p<0.001), and also presented lower latency time for recalling events, and lower negative recalled events (p<0.01). This study supports the potential value of reminiscence therapy in improving the recall of autobiographical memory. Reminiscence therapy can be helpful to maintain or improve cognitive function, decrease anxiety and manage depressive symptoms and altered behavior, but further investigation is needed to clarify long-term effects.
Welch-Ross, Melissa K.
Presents a working model for studying development of autobiographical memory based on literatures concerning children's metacognitive capacities, social construction of personal narratives, and development of self-concept. Notes that source monitoring and parental styles of discussing the past affect autobiographical memory, and emphasizes the…
Autobiographical reasoning is the activity of creating relations between different parts of one's past, present, and future life and one's personality and development. It embeds personal memories in a culturally, temporally, causally, and thematically coherent life story. Prototypical autobiographical arguments are presented. Culture and…
Tanweer, Tilait; Rathbone, Clare J.; Souchay, Celine
Previous results from research on individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) suggest a diminished ability for recalling episodic autobiographical memory (AM). The primary aim of this study was to explore autobiographical memory in individuals with Asperger syndrome and specifically to investigate whether memories in those with AS are characterized by…
El Haj, Mohamad; Postal, Virginie; Allain, Philippe
Studies have shown that the "Four Seasons" music may enhance the autobiographical performance of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. We used a repeated measures design in which autobiographical recall of 12 mild AD patients was assessed using a free narrative method under three conditions: (a) in "Silence," (b) after being exposed to the opus "Four…
Overgeneral memory (OGM) is a phenomenon that refers to difficulty retrieving specific autobiographical memories. The tendency to be overgeneral in autobiographical memory recall has been commonly observed among individuals with emotional disorders compared to those without emotional disorders. Despite significant advances in identifying…
Nuttall, Amy K.; Valentino, Kristin; Comas, Michelle; McNeill, Anne T.; Stey, Paul C.
"Overgeneral memory" refers to difficulty retrieving specific autobiographical memories and is consistently associated with depression and/or trauma. The present study developed a downward extension of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986) given the need to document normative developmental changes in…
Bernstein, Daniel M; Scoboria, Alan; Arnold, Robert
We combined data across eight published experiments (N=1369) to examine the formation and consequences of false autobiographical beliefs and memories. Our path models revealed that the formation of false autobiographical belief fully mediated the pathway between suggesting to people that they had experienced a positive or negative food-related event in the past and current preference for that food. Suggestion indirectly affected intention to eat the food via change in autobiographical belief. The development of belief with and without memory produced similar changes in food preferences and behavior intention, indicating that belief in the event drives changes in suggestion-related attitudes. Finally, positive suggestions (e.g., "you loved asparagus the first time you tried it") yielded stronger effects than negative suggestions (e.g., "you got sick eating egg salad"). These findings show that false autobiographical suggestions lead to the development of autobiographical beliefs, which in turn, have consequences for one's attitudes and behaviors.
Rasmussen, Katrine W; Berntsen, Dorthe
Converging evidence suggests that autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking share a common neurocognitive basis. Although previous research has shown that traumatic brain injury (TBI) can impair the ability to remember the personal past, episodic future thinking has not previously been systematically examined within this population. In this study, we examined the ability to remember events in the personal past and the ability to imagine possible events in the personal future in a sample of moderate-to-severe TBI patients. We present data on nine patients and nine healthy controls, who were asked to report a series of events that had happened to them in the past and a series of events that might happen to them in the future. Transcriptions were scored according to a reliable system for categorizing internal (episodic) and external (semantic) information. For each event described, participants also completed two modified Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire items to assess self-reported phenomenal qualities associated with remembering and imagining. In addition, TBI patients underwent neuropsychological assessment. Results revealed that TBI patients recalled/imagined proportionally fewer episodic event-specific details for both past and future events compared to healthy controls (η²(p) = 0.78). In contrast, there were no group differences in ratings of phenomenal characteristics. These results are discussed in relation to theories suggesting that remembering and imagining the future are the expression of the same underlying neurocognitive system.
Parker, Andrew; Dagnall, Neil
The effects of handedness and saccadic bilateral eye movements on autobiographical recollection were investigated. Recall of autobiographical memories was cued by the use of neutral and emotional words. Autobiographical recollection was assessed by the autobiographical memory questionnaire. Experiment 1 found that mixed-handed (vs. right handed)…
Examines the pedagogical discourse on the child's happiness, the structure of happiness, empirical findings on a child's happiness. Addresses the problems of research on children's needs. Concludes that happiness also includes feelings of joy or sorrow and that pedagogical judgments should take into account these feelings. (CAJ)
Irish, Muireann; Hornberger, Michael; El Wahsh, Shadi; Lam, Bonnie Y. K.; Lah, Suncica; Miller, Laurie; Hsieh, Sharpley; Hodges, John R.; Piguet, Olivier
The capacity to remember self-referential past events relies on the integrity of a distributed neural network. Controversy exists, however, regarding the involvement of specific brain structures for the retrieval of recently experienced versus more distant events. Here, we explored how characteristic patterns of atrophy in neurodegenerative disorders differentially disrupt remote versus recent autobiographical memory. Eleven behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, 10 semantic dementia, 15 Alzheimer's disease patients and 14 healthy older Controls completed the Autobiographical Interview. All patient groups displayed significant remote memory impairments relative to Controls. Similarly, recent period retrieval was significantly compromised in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease, yet semantic dementia patients scored in line with Controls. Voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging analyses, for all participants combined, were conducted to investigate grey and white matter correlates of remote and recent autobiographical memory retrieval. Neural correlates common to both recent and remote time periods were identified, including the hippocampus, medial prefrontal, and frontopolar cortices, and the forceps minor and left hippocampal portion of the cingulum bundle. Regions exclusively implicated in each time period were also identified. The integrity of the anterior temporal cortices was related to the retrieval of remote memories, whereas the posterior cingulate cortex emerged as a structure significantly associated with recent autobiographical memory retrieval. This study represents the first investigation of the grey and white matter correlates of remote and recent autobiographical memory retrieval in neurodegenerative disorders. Our findings demonstrate the importance of core brain structures, including the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, irrespective of time period, and point towards the contribution of
Kowalski, Robin M; Allison, Brooke; Giumetti, Gary W; Turner, Julia; Whittaker, Elizabeth; Frazee, Laura; Stephens, Justin
The present study was designed to investigate the relationships among mindfulness, happiness, and the expression of pet peeves. Previous research has established a positive correlation between happiness and mindfulness, but, to date, no research has examined how each of these variables is related to complaining in the form of pet peeves. Four hundred ten male and female college students listed the pet peeves they had with a current or former relationship partner. They also completed measures of happiness, positive and negative affect, depression, mindfulness, relationship satisfaction, and satisfaction with life. Pet peeves were negatively correlated with relationship satisfaction, well-being, and mindfulness. Consistent with hypotheses, support was found for the mediating role of mindfulness in the relationship between happiness and pet peeves.
Ford, Jaclyn Hennessey; Rubin, David C.; Giovanello, Kelly S.
Older adults tend to retrieve autobiographical information that is overly general (i.e. not restricted to a single event, termed the overgenerality effect) relative to young adults’ specific memories. A vast majority of studies that have reported overgenerality effects explicitly instruct participants to retrieve specific memories, thereby requiring participants to maintain task goals, inhibit inappropriate responses, and control their memory search. Since these processes are impaired in healthy aging, it is important to determine whether such task instructions influence the magnitude of the overgenerality effect in older adults. In the current study, participants retrieved autobiographical memories during presentation of musical clips. Task instructions were manipulated to separate age-related differences in the specificity of underlying memory representations from age-related differences in following task instructions. Whereas young adults modulated memory specificity based on task demands, older adults did not. These findings suggest that reported rates of overgenerality in older adults’ memories may include age-related differences in memory representation, as well as differences in task compliance. Such findings provide a better understanding of the underlying cognitive mechanisms involved in age-related changes in autobiographical memory and may also be valuable for future research examining effects of overgeneral memory on general well-being. PMID:23915176
Palombo, Daniela J; Williams, Lynne J; Abdi, Hervé; Levine, Brian
Compared to the abundance of laboratory-based memory tasks, few measures exist to assess self-reported memory function. This need is particularly important for naturalistic mnemonic capacities, such as autobiographical memory (recall of events and facts from one's past), because it is difficult to reliably assess in the laboratory. Furthermore, naturalistic mnemonic capacities may show stable individual differences that evade the constraints of laboratory testing. The Survey of Autobiographical Memory (SAM) was designed to assess such trait mnemonics, or the dimensional characterization of self-reported mnemonic characteristics. The SAM comprises items assessing self-reported episodic autobiographical, semantic, and spatial memory, as well as future prospection. In a large sample of healthy young adults, the latent dimensional structure of the SAM was characterized with multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). This analysis revealed dimensions corresponding to general mnemonic abilities (i.e., good vs poor memory across subtypes), spatial memory, and future prospection. While episodic and semantic items did not separate in this data-driven analysis, these categories did show expected dissociations in relation to depression history and to laboratory-based measures of recollection. Remote spatial memory as assessed by the SAM showed the expected advantage for males over females. Spatial memory was also related to autobiographical memory performance. Brief versions of the SAM are provided for efficient research applications. Individual differences in memory function are likely related to other health-related factors, including personality, psychopathology, dementia risk, brain structure and function, and genotype. In conjunction with laboratory or performance based assessments, the SAM can provide a useful measure of naturalistic self-report trait mnemonics for probing these relationships.
Each time I meet Helmut (I address him in an American way, perhaps awfully improperly in Austria), I get a strong impression of a happy man. Why is it so? Well gifted as a physicist and also as a manager, he has had a well-deserved eminently successful career, which warrants his happiness. However, not every physicist of a comparable stature appears to be as happy as Helmut. As a tribute on the occasion of his retirement, I offer in what follows an analysis of his life, accomplishments, and happiness. The present article is also a dedication to him as the chairman of the 16th International Conference on Atomic Collisions in Solids, which was highly successful, as seen in the Proceedings appearing in the following papes.
Tani, Franca; Peterson, Carole; Smorti, Andrea
Autobiographical memory and empathy have been linked with social interaction variables as well as gender in independent bodies of literature. However a scarcity of research exists on the direct link between autobiographical memory and empathy. Exploring this link, in particular for memory of friendships and empathy, was the authors' main aim. A total of 107 Italian undergraduates participated. A memory fluency task was used to assess accessibility of memories spanning their entire life (preschool through university) and an empathy scale (Italian version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index) was employed to measure the participants' level and dimensions of empathy. For men, empathy scores were related to how many memories they could recall. Specifically, men with higher scores on the fantasy and empathic concern scales and those with lower scores on the personal distress scales recalled more memories of friends. However, affective quality of their memories was unrelated to empathy. In contrast, for women there was no relationship between number of memories and empathy, but the emotional tone of their memories was related to empathy: those with higher scores on the personal distress scale had proportionately fewer affectively positive memories. Results are discussed in terms of gender differences in both empathy and parental socialization patterns.
Dalgleish, Tim; Williams, J. Mark G.; Golden, Ann-Marie J.; Perkins, Nicola; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Barnard, Phillip J.; Yeung, Cecilia Au; Murphy, Victoria; Elward, Rachael; Tchanturia, Kate; Watkins, Edward
It has been widely established that depressed mood states and clinical depression, as well as a range of other psychiatric disorders, are associated with a relative difficulty in accessing specific autobiographical information in response to emotion-related cue words on an Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; J. M. G. Williams & K. Broadbent, 1986). In 8 studies the authors examined the extent to which this relationship is a function of impaired executive control associated with these mood states and clinical disorders. Studies 1–4 demonstrated that performance on the AMT is associated with performance on measures of executive control, independent of depressed mood. Furthermore, Study 1 showed that executive control (as measured by verbal fluency) mediated the relationship between both depressed mood and a clinical diagnosis of eating disorder and AMT performance. Using a stratified sample in Study 5, the authors confirmed the positive association between depressed mood and impaired performance on the AMT. Studies 6–8 involved experimental manipulations of the parameters of the AMT designed to further indicate that reduced executive control is to a significant extent driving the relationship between depressed mood and AMT performance. The potential role of executive control in accounting for other aspects of the AMT literature is discussed. PMID:17324083
The medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) is regarded as a region of the brain that supports self-referential processes, including the integration of sensory information with self-knowledge and the retrieval of autobiographical information. I used functional magnetic resonance imaging and a novel procedure for eliciting autobiographical memories with excerpts of popular music dating to one's extended childhood to test the hypothesis that music and autobiographical memories are integrated in the MPFC. Dorsal regions of the MPFC (Brodmann area 8/9) were shown to respond parametrically to the degree of autobiographical salience experienced over the course of individual 30 s excerpts. Moreover, the dorsal MPFC also responded on a second, faster timescale corresponding to the signature movements of the musical excerpts through tonal space. These results suggest that the dorsal MPFC associates music and memories when we experience emotionally salient episodic memories that are triggered by familiar songs from our personal past. MPFC acted in concert with lateral prefrontal and posterior cortices both in terms of tonality tracking and overall responsiveness to familiar and autobiographically salient songs. These findings extend the results of previous autobiographical memory research by demonstrating the spontaneous activation of an autobiographical memory network in a naturalistic task with low retrieval demands. PMID:19240137
Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki
Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure) and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level). As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater magnitude
Devitt, Aleea L; Monk-Fromont, Edwin; Schacter, Daniel L; Addis, Donna Rose
The constructive nature of memory is generally adaptive, allowing us to efficiently store, process and learn from life events, and simulate future scenarios to prepare ourselves for what may come. However, the cost of a flexibly constructive memory system is the occasional conjunction error, whereby the components of an event are authentic, but the combination of those components is false. Using a novel recombination paradigm, it was demonstrated that details from one autobiographical memory (AM) may be incorrectly incorporated into another, forming AM conjunction errors that elude typical reality monitoring checks. The factors that contribute to the creation of these conjunction errors were examined across two experiments. Conjunction errors were more likely to occur when the corresponding details were partially rather than fully recombined, likely due to increased plausibility and ease of simulation of partially recombined scenarios. Brief periods of imagination increased conjunction error rates, in line with the imagination inflation effect. Subjective ratings suggest that this inflation is due to similarity of phenomenological experience between conjunction and authentic memories, consistent with a source monitoring perspective. Moreover, objective scoring of memory content indicates that increased perceptual detail may be particularly important for the formation of AM conjunction errors.
Van den Broeck, Kris; Pieters, Guido; Claes, Laurence; Berens, Ann; Raes, Filip
Overgeneral memory (OGM), the tendency to retrieve categories of events from autobiographical memory instead of single events, is found to be a reliable predictor for future mood disturbances and post-traumatic symptom severity. Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often report co-morbid episodes of major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, we investigated whether OGM would predict depression severity and (post-traumatic) stress symptoms in BPD patients. At admission (N = 54) and at six-month follow-up (N ≥ 31), BPD patients completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders, the Assessment of DSM-IV Personality Disorders, the Autobiographical Memory Test, the Beck Depression Inventory-2nd edition (BDI-II), and the Impact of Event Scale. OGM at baseline predicted (a) higher levels of depressive symptoms at follow-up and (b) more intrusions related to a stressful event over and above baseline levels of borderline symptoms, depressive symptoms, and intrusions, respectively. No association was found between memory specificity and event-related avoidance at follow-up. Despite previous findings suggesting that OGM in BPD is less robust than in MDD and PTSD, our results suggest that memory specificity in BPD patients may have some relevance for the course of depressive and stress symptomatology in BPD.
Ehlers, Anke; Mauchnik, Jana; Handley, Rachel
Unwanted memories of traumatic events are a core symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. A range of interventions including imaginal exposure and elaboration of the trauma memory in its autobiographical context are effective in reducing such unwanted memories. This study explored whether priming for stimuli that occur in the context of trauma and evaluative conditioning may play a role in the therapeutic effects of these procedures. Healthy volunteers (N = 122) watched analogue traumatic and neutral picture stories. They were then randomly allocated to 20 min of either imaginal exposure, autobiographical memory elaboration, or a control condition designed to prevent further processing of the picture stories. A blurred picture identification task showed that neutral objects that preceded traumatic pictures in the stories were subsequently more readily identified than those that had preceded neutral stories, indicating enhanced priming. There was also an evaluative conditioning effect in that participants disliked neutral objects that had preceded traumatic pictures more. Autobiographical memory elaboration reduced the enhanced priming effect. Both interventions reduced the evaluative conditioning effect. Imaginal exposure and autobiographical memory elaboration both reduced the frequency of subsequent unwanted memories of the picture stories. PMID:21227404
Sargent, Jesse Q; Zacks, Jeffrey M; Hambrick, David Z; Zacks, Rose T; Kurby, Christopher A; Bailey, Heather R; Eisenberg, Michelle L; Beck, Taylor M
Memory for everyday events plays a central role in tasks of daily living, autobiographical memory, and planning. Event memory depends in part on segmenting ongoing activity into meaningful units. This study examined the relationship between event segmentation and memory in a lifespan sample to answer the following question: Is the ability to segment activity into meaningful events a unique predictor of subsequent memory, or is the relationship between event perception and memory accounted for by general cognitive abilities? Two hundred and eight adults ranging from 20 to 79years old segmented movies of everyday events and attempted to remember the events afterwards. They also completed psychometric ability tests and tests measuring script knowledge for everyday events. Event segmentation and script knowledge both explained unique variance in event memory above and beyond the psychometric measures, and did so as strongly in older as in younger adults. These results suggest that event segmentation is a basic cognitive mechanism, important for memory across the lifespan.
De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Christakis, Nicholas A; Fowler, James H; Frey, Bruno S
We explore the influence of genetic variation on subjective well-being by employing a twin design and genetic association study. In a nationally-representative twin sample, we first show that about 33% of the variation in life satisfaction is explained by genetic variation. Although previous studies have shown that baseline happiness is significantly heritable, little research has considered molecular genetic associations with subjective well-being. We study the relationship between a functional polymorphism on the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and life satisfaction. We initially find that individuals with the longer, transcriptionally more efficient variant of this genotype report greater life satisfaction (n=2,545, p=0.012). However, our replication attempts on independent samples produce mixed results indicating that more work needs to be done to better understand the relationship between this genotype and subjective well-being. This work has implications for how economists think about the determinants of utility, and the extent to which exogenous shocks might affect individual well-being.
Abstract The Kingdom of Bhutan is seeking to progressively realize the human right to health without addressing the cross-cutting human rights principles essential to a rights-based approach to health. Through a landscape analysis of the Bhutanese health system, documentary review of Bhutanese reporting to the United Nations human rights system, and semi-structured interviews with health policymakers in Bhutan, this study examines the normative foundations of Bhutan’s focus on “a more meaningful purpose for development than just mere material satisfaction.” Under this development paradigm of Gross National Happiness, the Bhutanese health system meets select normative foundations of the right to health, seeking to guarantee the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of health care and underlying determinants of health. However, where Bhutan continues to restrict the rights of minority populations—failing to address the ways in which human rights are indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated—additional reforms will be necessary to realize the right to health. Given the continuing prevalence of minority rights violations in the region, this study raises research questions for comparative studies in other rights-denying national contexts and advocacy approaches to advance principles of non-discrimination, participation, and accountability through health policy. PMID:27781010
Bjalkebring, Par; Västfjäll, Daniel; Johansson, Boo E. A.
Older adults have been shown to describe their happiness as lower in arousal when compared to younger adults. In addition, older adults prefer low arousal positive emotions over high arousal positive emotions in their daily lives. We experimentally investigated whether or not changing a few words in the description of happiness could influence a person’s rating of their happiness. We randomly assigned 193 participants, aged 22–92 years, to one of three conditions (high arousal, low arousal, or control). In line with previous findings, we found that older participants rated their happiness lower when framed as high in arousal (i.e., ecstatic, to be bursting with positive emotions) and rated their happiness higher when framed as low in arousal (i.e., satisfied, to have a life filled with positive emotions). Younger adults remained uninfluenced by the manipulation. Our study demonstrates that arousal is essential to understanding ratings of happiness, and gives support to the notion that there are age differences in the preference for arousal. PMID:26097459
By critically reviewing Freud's views on happiness, and also those of Helene Deutsch, Bertram Lewin, Melanie Klein, and Heinz Kohut, the author evolves a complex and multilayered perspective on the phenomenon. He categorizes happiness into four related and occasionally overlapping varieties: pleasure-based happiness (elation), assertion-based happiness (joy), merger-based happiness (ecstasy), and fulfillment-based happiness (contentment). After entering some caveats and drawing from his clinical experience, the author then demonstrates the relevance of these ideas to the conduct of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
Kovach, C R
Development and testing of the autobiographical memory coding tool (AMCT) is detailed. The tool uses quantitative content analysis procedures to code interpretations of autobiographical memories as validating or lamenting. Development of a system of measuring autobiographical memories from transcribed reminiscence interviews involved defining the units of analysis, defining the categories and themes, constructing a codebook, assessing content validity, assessing reliability and making revisions. Thirty-nine transcripts of reminiscence interviews were used for tool development and testing. The AMCT contains a series of step-by-step guidelines for conducting the analysis and includes an autobiographical memory thematic dictionary and descriptions of range and variations in each theme to assist with coding data. Intercoder reliability estimates were 0.93, 0.93 and 0.95. Test-retest reliability was 1.00.
Bennouna-Greene, Mehdi; Berna, Fabrice; Conway, Martin A; Rathbone, Clare J; Vidailhet, Pierre; Danion, Jean-Marie
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness, which affects sense of identity. While the ability to have a coherent vision of the self (i.e., self-images) relies partly on its reciprocal relationships with autobiographical memories, little is known about how memories ground "self-images" in schizophrenia. Twenty-five patients with schizophrenia and 25 controls were asked to give six autobiographical memories related to four self-statements they considered essential for defining their identity. Results showed that patients' self-images were more passive than those of controls. Autobiographical memories underlying self-images were less thematically linked to these self-images in patients. We also found evidence of a weakened sense of self and a deficient organization of autobiographical memories grounding the self in schizophrenia. These abnormalities may account for the poor cohesiveness of the self in schizophrenia.
Scoboria, Alan; Mazzoni, Giuliana; Jarry, Josée L; Bernstein, Daniel M
Suggesting false childhood events produces false autobiographical beliefs, memories and suggestion-consistent behavior. The mechanisms by which suggestion affects behavior are not understood, and whether false beliefs and memories are necessary for suggestions to impact behavior remains unexplored. We examined the relative effects of providing a personalized suggestion (suggesting that an event occurred to the person in the past), and/or a general suggestion (suggesting that an event happened to others in the past). Participants (N=122) received a personalized suggestion, a general suggestion, both or neither, about childhood illness due to spoiled peach yogurt. The personalized suggestion resulted in false beliefs, false memories, and suggestion-consistent behavioral intentions immediately after the suggestion. One week or one month later participants completed a taste test that involved eating varieties of crackers and yogurts. The personalized suggestion led to reduced consumption of only peach yogurt, and those who reported a false memory showed the most eating suppression. This effect on behavior was equally strong after one week and one month, showing a long lived influence of the personalized suggestion. The general suggestion showed no effects. Suggestions that convey personal information about a past event produce false autobiographical memories, which in turn impact behavior.
Haque, Shamsul; Hasking, Penelope A
Two studies examined the ability of the life script account to explain the reminiscence bump for emotionally charged autobiographical memories among Malaysian participants. In Study 1 volunteers, aged 50-90 years, participated in a two-phased task. In the first phase, participants estimated the timing of 11 life events (both positive and negative) that may occur in a prototypical life course within their own culture. Two weeks later the participants retrieved the same set of events from their lives and reported how old they were when those events occurred. In the second study 92 undergraduate students produced life scripts for the same 11 events. The findings revealed reminiscence bumps in both life script and retrieval curves for the memories judged happiest, most important, most in love, and most jealous. A reminiscence bump was also noted for success, although this was later in the lifespan than other reminiscence bumps. It was suggested that the life scripts can be used as an alternative account for the reminiscence bump, for highly positive and occasionally for negative autobiographical memories.
Gao, Yue; Edelman, Shimon
We offer and test a simple operationalization of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being ("happiness") as mediating variables that link outcomes to motivation. In six evolutionary agent-based simulation experiments, we compared the relative performance of agents endowed with different combinations of happiness-related traits (parameter values), under four types of environmental conditions. We found (i) that the effects of attaching more weight to longer-term than to momentary happiness and of extending the memory for past happiness are both stronger in an environment where food is scarce; (ii) that in such an environment "relative consumption," in which the agent's well-being is negatively affected by that of its neighbors, is more detrimental to survival when food is scarce; and (iii) that having a positive outlook, under which agents' longer-term happiness is increased by positive events more than it is decreased by negative ones, is generally advantageous.
Bauer, Patricia J; Pathman, Thanujeni; Inman, Cory; Campanella, Carolina; Hamann, Stephan
Autobiographical memory (AM) is a critically important form of memory for life events that undergoes substantial developmental changes from childhood to adulthood. Relatively little is known regarding the functional neural correlates of AM retrieval in children as assessed with fMRI, and how they may differ from adults. We investigated this question with 14 children ages 8-11 years and 14 adults ages 19-30 years, contrasting AM retrieval with semantic memory (SM) retrieval. During scanning, participants were cued by verbal prompts to retrieve previously selected recent AMs or to verify semantic properties of words. As predicted, both groups showed AM retrieval-related increased activation in regions implicated in prior studies, including bilateral hippocampus, and prefrontal, posterior cingulate, and parietal cortices. Adults showed greater activation in the hippocampal/parahippocampal region as well as prefrontal and parietal cortex, relative to children; age-related differences were most prominent in the first 8 sec versus the second 8 sec of AM retrieval and when AM retrieval was contrasted with semantic retrieval. This study is the first to characterise similarities and differences during AM retrieval in children and adults using fMRI.
Hipwell, Alison E.; Sapotichne, Brenna; Klostermann, Susan; Battista, Deena; Keenan, Kate
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (AM), the tendency to recall categories of events when asked to provide specific instances from one's life, is purported to be a marker of depression vulnerability that develops in childhood. Although early adolescence is a period of risk for depression onset especially among girls, prospective examination of this putative risk factor is lacking. The current study examined the prospective associations between AM recall and depressive symptomatology in an enriched community sample of predominantly African American girls. Girls (n=195) were interviewed about depressive symptoms at ages 11 and 12 years, and AM recall was assessed at age 11. The findings showed that overgeneral retrieval to positive, but not negative, cue words predicted subsequent depressive symptoms after controlling for age 11 symptoms, race, poverty, and Verbal IQ. A moderating effect of race was also shown, whereby overgeneral AM bias predicted depressive symptoms more strongly among European American girls. The findings are discussed in relation to the broader literature on depression affective biases. PMID:21391022
Ricarte, Jorge Javier; Ros, Laura; Latorre, Jose Miguel; Muñoz, Maria Dolores; Aguilar, Maria Jose; Hernandez, Jose Vicente
Overgeneral schemas and lack of autobiographical memory (AM) specificity about our past experiences can predict mood disturbance. Rumination, functional avoidance and executive processes are the main explanatory variables of such overgenerality. However, in non-clinical samples, rumination predicts overgenerality most consistently after the induction of dysphoric mood. Anxiety also activates rumination. Furthermore, anxiety predicts memory performance and has effects on mood which are independent of the effects of rumination. So, what might be the role of anxiety in autobiographical memory performance? A sample of 210 voluntary participants reported measures of autobiographical memory, anxiety, rumination (brooding and reflection), functional avoidance and executive functions (semantic and phonetic verbal fluency task). Autobiographical performance (specificity) was negatively associated with brooding and age and positively with phonetic verbal fluency but not with functional avoidance and anxiety. However, anxiety and brooding were positively correlated even after controlling for depression scores. Moreover, using structural equation modeling, anxiety showed a significant indirect effect on autobiographical specificity through brooding rumination. These results suggest a possible association of anxiety with autobiographical recall through brooding rumination.
Köhler, Cristiano A.; Carvalho, André F.; Alves, Gilberto S.; McIntyre, Roger S.; Hyphantis, Thomas N.; Cammarota, Martín
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by a dysfunctional processing of autobiographical memories. We review the following core domains of deficit: systematic biases favoring materials of negative emotional valence; diminished access and response to positive memories; a recollection of overgeneral memories in detriment of specific autobiographical memories; and the role of ruminative processes and avoidance when dealing with autobiographical memories. Furthermore, we review evidence from functional neuroimaging studies of neural circuits activated by the recollection of autobiographical memories in both healthy and depressive individuals. Disruptions in autobiographical memories predispose and portend onset and maintenance of depression. Thus, we discuss emerging therapeutics that target memory difficulties in those with depression. We review strategies for this clinical domain, including memory specificity training, method-of-loci, memory rescripting, and real-time fMRI neurofeedback training of amygdala activity in depression. We propose that the manipulation of the reconsolidation of autobiographical memories in depression might represent a novel yet largely unexplored, domain-specific, therapeutic opportunity for depression treatment. PMID:26380121
The relations of maternal reminiscing style and child self-concept to children's shared and independent autobiographical memories were examined in a sample of 189 three-year-olds and their mothers from Chinese families in China, first-generation Chinese immigrant families in the United States, and European American families. Mothers shared memories with their children and completed questionnaires; children recounted autobiographical events and described themselves with a researcher. Independent of culture, gender, child age, and language skills, maternal elaborations and evaluations were associated with children's shared memory reports, and maternal evaluations and child agentic self-focus were associated with children's independent memory reports. Maternal style and child self-concept further mediated cultural influences on children's memory. The findings provide insight into the social-cultural construction of autobiographical memory.
Mauss, Iris B; Savino, Nicole S; Anderson, Craig L; Weisbuch, Max; Tamir, Maya; Laudenslager, Mark L
Few things seem more natural and functional than wanting to be happy. We suggest that, counter to this intuition, valuing happiness may have some surprising negative consequences. Specifically, because striving for personal gains can damage connections with others and because happiness is usually defined in terms of personal positive feelings (a personal gain) in western contexts, striving for happiness might damage people's connections with others and make them lonely. In 2 studies, we provide support for this hypothesis. Study 1 suggests that the more people value happiness, the lonelier they feel on a daily basis (assessed over 2 weeks with diaries). Study 2 provides an experimental manipulation of valuing happiness and demonstrates that inducing people to value happiness leads to relatively greater loneliness, as measured by self-reports and a hormonal index (progesterone). In each study, key potential confounds, such as positive and negative affect, were ruled out. These findings suggest that wanting to be happy can make people lonely.
Research on happiness casts doubt on the notion that increases in income generally bring greater happiness. This finding can be taken to imply that economic migration might fail to result in increased happiness for the migrants: migration as a means of increasing one's income might be no more effective in raising happiness than other means of…
Grace, Lydia; Dewhurst, Stephen A; Anderson, Rachel J
Autobiographical memory (AM) is believed to serve self, social and directive functions; however, little is known regarding how this triad of functions operates in depression. Using the Thinking About Life Experiences questionnaire [Bluck, S., & Alea, N. (2011). Crafting the TALE: Construction of a measure to assess the functions of autobiographical remembering. Memory, 19, 470-486.; Bluck, S., Alea, N., Habermas, T., & Rubin, D. C. (2005). A TALE of three functions: The self-reported uses of autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 23, 91-117.], two studies explored the relationship between depressive symptomology and the self-reported frequency and usefulness of AMs for self, social and directive purposes. Study 1 revealed that thinking more frequently but talking less frequently about past life events was significantly associated with higher depression scores. Recalling past events more frequently to maintain self-continuity was also significantly associated with higher depressive symptomology. However, results from Study 2 indicated that higher levels of depression were also significantly associated with less-frequent useful recollections of past life events for self-continuity purposes. Taken together, the findings suggest atypical utilisations of AM to serve self-continuity functions in depression and can be interpreted within the wider context of ruminative thought processes.
Schnall, Simone; Jaswal, Vikram K.; Rowe, Christina
Happiness is generally considered an emotion with only beneficial effects, particularly in childhood. However, there are some situations where the style of information processing triggered by happiness could be a liability. In particular, happiness seems to motivate a top-down processing style, which could impair performance when attention to…
Cunado, Juncal; de Gracia, Fernando Perez
In this paper we study the impact of education on happiness in Spain using individual-level data from the European Social Survey, by means of estimating Ordinal Logit Models. We find both direct and indirect effects of education on happiness. First, we find an indirect effect of education on happiness through income and labour status. That is, we…
Duncan, Roderick; Tilbrook, Kerry; Krivokapic-Skoko, Branka
Happiness research is a rapidly-growing area in social psychology and has emphasised the link between happiness and workplace productivity and creativity for knowledge workers. Recent articles in this journal have raised concerns about the level of happiness and engagement of Australian academics with their work, however there is little research…
Gandelman, Nestor; Porzecanski, Rafael
We compute the Gini indexes for income, happiness and various simulated utility levels. Due to decreasing marginal utility of income, happiness inequality should be lower than income inequality. We find that happiness inequality is about half that of income inequality. To compute the utility levels we need to assume values for a key parameter that…
Compère, Laurie; Sperduti, Marco; Gallarda, Thierry; Anssens, Adèle; Lion, Stéphanie; Delhommeau, Marion; Martinelli, Pénélope; Devauchelle, Anne-Dominique; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale
Autobiographical memory (AM) underlies the formation and temporal continuity over time of personal identity. The few studies on sex-related differences in AM suggest that men and women adopt different cognitive or emotional strategies when retrieving AMs. However, none of the previous works has taken into account the distinction between episodic autobiographical memory (EAM), consisting in the retrieval of specific events by means of mental time travel, and semantic autobiographical memory (SAM), which stores general personal events. Thus, it remains unclear whether differences in these strategies depend on the nature of the memory content to be retrieved. In the present study we employed functional MRI to examine brain activity underlying potential sex differences in EAM and SAM retrieval focusing on the differences in strategies related to the emotional aspects of memories while controlling for basic cognitive strategies. On the behavioral level, there was no significant sex difference in memory performances or subjective feature ratings of either type of AM. Activations common to men and women during AM retrieval were observed in a typical bilateral network comprising medial and lateral temporal regions, precuneus, occipital cortex as well as prefrontal cortex. Contrast analyses revealed that there was no difference between men and women in the EAM condition. In the SAM condition, women showed an increased activity, compared to men, in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal and precentral gyrus. Overall, these findings suggest that differential neural activations reflect sex-specific strategies related to emotional aspects of AMs, particularly regarding SAM. We propose that this pattern of activation during SAM retrieval reflects the cognitive cost linked to emotion regulation strategies recruited by women compared to men. These sex-related differences have interesting implications for understanding psychiatric disorders with differential sex
Matsunaga, Masahiro; Bai, Yu; Yamakawa, Kaori; Toyama, Asako; Kashiwagi, Mitsuyoshi; Fukuda, Kazuyuki; Oshida, Akiko; Sanada, Kazue; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Sadato, Norihiro; Ohira, Hideki
The phenomenon in which a certain smell evokes a specific memory is known as the Proust phenomenon. Odor-evoked autobiographic memories are more emotional than those elicited by other sensory stimuli. The results of our previous study indicated that odor-evoked autobiographic memory accompanied by positive emotions has remarkable effects on various psychological and physiological activities, including the secretion of cytokines, which are immune-signaling molecules that modulate systemic inflammation. In this study, we aimed to clarify the neural substrates associated with the interaction between odor-evoked autobiographic memory and peripheral circulating cytokines. We recruited healthy male and female volunteers and investigated the association between brain responses and the concentration of several cytokines in the plasma by using positron emission tomography (PET) recordings when an autographic memory was evoked in participants by asking them to smell an odor that was nostalgic to them. Participants experienced positive emotions and autobiographic memories when nostalgic odors were presented to them. The levels of peripheral proinflammatory cytokines, such as the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), were significantly reduced after experiencing odor-evoked autobiographic memory. Subtraction analysis of PET images indicated that the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) were significantly activated during experiences of odor-evoked autobiographic memory. Furthermore, a correlation analysis indicated that activities of the mOFC and precuneus/PCC were negatively correlated with IFN-γ concentration. These results indicate that the neural networks including the precuneus/PCC and mOFC might regulate the secretion of peripheral proinflammatory cytokines during the experience of odor-evoked autobiographic memories accompanied with positive emotions. PMID:23977312
Bon, Laetitia; Baleyte, Jean-Marc; Piolino, Pascale; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Guillery-Girard, Bérengère
Autobiographical memory (AM) and social cognition share common properties and both are affected in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). So far, most of the scant research in ASD has concerned adults, systematically reporting impairment of the episodic component. The only study to be conducted with children concluded that they have poorer personal semantic knowledge than typical developing children. The present study explores the development of both components of AM in an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, based on three examinations in 2007, 2008, and 2010. On each occasion, he underwent a general neuropsychological assessment including theory of mind (ToM) tasks, and a specially designed AM task allowing us to test both the semantic and the episodic components for three lifetime periods (current year, previous year, and earlier years). We observed difficulties in strategic retrieval and ToM, with a significant improvement between the second and third examinations. Regarding AM, different patterns of performance were noted in all three examinations: (1) relative preservation of current year personal knowledge, but impairment for the previous and earlier years, and (2) impairment of episodic memory for the current and previous year, but performances similar to those of controls for the earlier years. The first pattern can be explained by abnormal forgetting and by the semanticization mechanism, which needs verbal communication and social interaction to be efficient. The second pattern suggests that the development of episodic memory only reached the stage of "event memory." This term refers to memory for personal events lacking in details or spatiotemporal specificity, and is usually observed in children younger than five. We conclude that the abnormal functioning of social cognition in ASD, encompassing social, and personal points of view, has an impact on both components of AM.
Kalyan-Masih, V.; And Others
People tend to have such lofty conceptions of love and marital happiness that little day-to-day simple acts of kindness are seldom considered. This study investigated specific, repetitive, small daily acts that strengthen marriage, and little acts that disturb a stable relationship. Participants (N=57) were individuals who had been happily married…
Brockmeyer, Timo; Grosse Holtforth, Martin; Bents, Hinrich; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph
Food restriction and weight-loss have been proposed to represent pathogenic mechanisms of emotion regulation in anorexia nervosa (AN). However, there is a lack of studies empirically examining this hypothesis. Therefore, the present study compared 25 women with AN and 25 healthy control women (HC) regarding spontaneous emotional processing of autobiographic memories. Participants' idiographic memories of sad autobiographic events were analyzed using computerized, quantitative text analysis as an unobtrusive approach of nonreactive assessment. Compared to HC, AN patients retrieved more negative but a comparable number of positive emotions. Moreover, the lesser the body weight in AN patients, the lesser negative emotions they retrieved, irrespective of current levels of depressive symptoms and duration of illness. No such association was found in HC. These preliminary findings are in line with models of AN proposing that food restriction and weight-loss may be negatively reinforced by the alleviation of aversive emotional responses.
Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Uono, Shota; Kubota, Yasutaka; Sawada, Reiko; Yoshimura, Sayaka; Toichi, Motomi
Happiness is a subjective experience that is an ultimate goal for humans. Psychological studies have shown that subjective happiness can be measured reliably and consists of emotional and cognitive components. However, the neural substrates of subjective happiness remain unclear. To investigate this issue, we used structural magnetic resonance imaging and questionnaires that assessed subjective happiness, the intensity of positive and negative emotional experiences, and purpose in life. We found a positive relationship between the subjective happiness score and gray matter volume in the right precuneus. Moreover, the same region showed an association with the combined positive and negative emotional intensity and purpose in life scores. Our findings suggest that the precuneus mediates subjective happiness by integrating the emotional and cognitive components of happiness.
Oishi, Shigehiro; Graham, Jesse; Kesebir, Selin; Galinha, Iolanda Costa
We explored cultural and historical variations in concepts of happiness. First, we analyzed the definitions of happiness in dictionaries from 30 nations to understand cultural similarities and differences in happiness concepts. Second, we analyzed the definition of happiness in Webster's dictionaries from 1850 to the present day to understand historical changes in American English. Third, we coded the State of the Union addresses given by U.S. presidents from 1790 to 2010. Finally, we investigated the appearance of the phrases happy nation versus happy person in Google's Ngram Viewer from 1800 to 2008. Across cultures and time, happiness was most frequently defined as good luck and favorable external conditions. However, in American English, this definition was replaced by definitions focused on favorable internal feeling states. Our findings highlight the value of a historical perspective in the study of psychological concepts.
Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Uono, Shota; Kubota, Yasutaka; Sawada, Reiko; Yoshimura, Sayaka; Toichi, Motomi
Happiness is a subjective experience that is an ultimate goal for humans. Psychological studies have shown that subjective happiness can be measured reliably and consists of emotional and cognitive components. However, the neural substrates of subjective happiness remain unclear. To investigate this issue, we used structural magnetic resonance imaging and questionnaires that assessed subjective happiness, the intensity of positive and negative emotional experiences, and purpose in life. We found a positive relationship between the subjective happiness score and gray matter volume in the right precuneus. Moreover, the same region showed an association with the combined positive and negative emotional intensity and purpose in life scores. Our findings suggest that the precuneus mediates subjective happiness by integrating the emotional and cognitive components of happiness. PMID:26586449
Hong, Kai; Nenkova, Ani; March, Mary E; Parker, Amber P; Verma, Ragini; Kohler, Christian G
Language dysfunction has long been described in schizophrenia and most studies have focused on characteristics of structure and form. This project focuses on the content of language based on autobiographical narratives of five basic emotions. In persons with schizophrenia and healthy controls, we employed a comprehensive automated analysis of lexical use and we identified specific words and semantically or functionally related words derived from dictionaries that occurred significantly more often in narratives of either group. Patients employed a similar number of words but differed in lower expressivity and complexity, more self-reference and more repetitions. We developed a classification method for predicting subject status and tested its accuracy in a leave-one-subject-out evaluation procedure. We identified a set of 18 features that achieved 65.7% accuracy in predicting clinical status based on single emotion narratives, and 74.4% accuracy based on all five narratives. Subject clinical status could be determined automatically more accurately based on narratives related to anger or happiness experiences and there were a larger number of lexical differences between the two groups for these emotions compared to other emotions.
De Leo, Gianluca; Brivio, Eleonora; Sautter, Scott W
An estimated 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). A symptom of AD is the gradual loss of autobiographical memory. Support services have been shown to slow such loss, thereby improving the quality of life of patients and their caregivers. In this case study, a subject in Stage 4 of AD on the Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) scale carried a smart phone with a lanyard for 4 weeks. The smart phone was programmed to take pictures at 5-minute intervals for 12 hours during the day. The pictures were collected, combined in a video slide show, saved to a DVD, and mailed to the subject on a weekly basis. The subject and his caregiver had to view the DVD. In order to evaluate the subject's memory before and after viewing the DVD, a test concerning the most important events of the week was developed. The subject and his caregiver had to answer a satisfaction questionnaire as well. The results of this case study confirmed that the DVD helped the subject recall recent events significantly better and that carrying the smart phone was not considered intrusive to daily routines. This manuscript illustrates how smart phone technology can assist in exercising autobiographical memory.
Grysman, Azriel; Hudson, Judith A
Contemporary models of autobiographical memory attribute a prominent role to the conceptualisation of the self. In an attempt to better understand the impact of the self as an organising feature of autobiographical memory, narratives of personal episodes were elicited, either after a questionnaire about the self (self-prime condition) or after a distractor task (control condition). Participants also wrote a narrative of a turning-point memory, which is by definition a self-focused narrative. Narratives were divided into propositions and analysed for the types of statements used. As predicted, when writing self-focused turning-point narratives participants included more statements relating to the meaning of an event and connecting it to the self, and fewer statements focusing on the who, what, where, and when of the narrative. Narratives written after the self-prime also demonstrated characteristics that were similar to turning-point narratives, although not on all measures. This shift in narrative focus in turning-point and self-primed memory narratives indicates an increased attempt to fulfil goals of coherence rather than correspondence (Conway, 2005). These findings lend insight into the nature of the relationship between the semantic conceptualisation of the self, and the process of retrieving event-specific knowledge in episodic memory.
Bauer, Patricia J
Some memories of the events of our lives have a long shelf-life-they remain accessible to recollection even after long delays. Yet many other of our experiences are forgotten, sometimes very soon after they take place. In spite of the prevalence of forgetting, theories of the development of episodic and autobiographical memory largely ignore it as a potential source of variance in explanation of age-related variability in long-term recall. They focus instead on what may be viewed as positive developmental changes, that is, changes that result in improvements in the quality of memory representations that are formed. The purpose of this review is to highlight the role of forgetting as an important variable in understanding the development of episodic and autobiographical memory. Forgetting processes are implicated as a source of variability in long-term recall due to the protracted course of development of the neural substrate responsible for transformation of fleeting experiences into memory traces that can be integrated into long-term stores and retrieved at later points in time. It is logical to assume that while the substrate is developing, neural processing is relatively inefficient and ineffective, resulting in loss of information from memory (i.e., forgetting). For this reason, focus on developmental increases in the quality of representations of past events and experiences will tell only a part of the story of how memory develops. A more complete account is afforded when we also consider changes in forgetting.
Bauer, Patricia J.
Some memories of the events of our lives have a long shelf-life—they remain accessible to recollection even after long delays. Yet many other of our experiences are forgotten, sometimes very soon after they take place. In spite of the prevalence of forgetting, theories of the development of episodic and autobiographical memory largely ignore it as a potential source of variance in explanation of age-related variability in long-term recall. They focus instead on what may be viewed as positive developmental changes, that is, changes that result in improvements in the quality of memory representations that are formed. The purpose of this review is to highlight the role of forgetting as an important variable in understanding the development of episodic and autobiographical memory. Forgetting processes are implicated as a source of variability in long-term recall due to the protracted course of development of the neural substrate responsible for transformation of fleeting experiences into memory traces that can be integrated into long-term stores and retrieved at later points in time. It is logical to assume that while the substrate is developing, neural processing is relatively inefficient and ineffective, resulting in loss of information from memory (i.e., forgetting). For this reason, focus on developmental increases in the quality of representations of past events and experiences will tell only a part of the story of how memory develops. A more complete account is afforded when we also consider changes in forgetting. PMID:26644633
Valentino, Kristin; Toth, Sheree L.; Cicchetti, Dante
Background: This investigation addresses whether there are differences in the form and content of autobiographical memory recall as a function of maltreatment, and examines the roles of self-system functioning and psychopathology in autobiographical memory processes. Methods: Autobiographical memory for positive and negative nontraumatic events…
Parks, Acacia C; Della Porta, Matthew D; Pierce, Russell S; Zilca, Ran; Lyubomirsky, Sonja
Although the last decade has witnessed mounting research on the development and evaluation of positive interventions, investigators still know little about the target population of such interventions: happiness seekers. The present research asked three questions about happiness seekers: (1) What are their general characteristics?, (2) What do they purposefully do to become happier?, and (3) How do they make use of self-help resources? In Study 1, we identified two distinct clusters of online happiness seekers. In Study 2, we asked happiness seekers to report on their use of 14 types of happiness-seeking behaviors. In Study 3, we tracked happiness seekers' usage of an iPhone application that offered access to eight different happiness-increasing activities, and assessed their resulting happiness and mood improvements. Together, these studies provide a preliminary portrait of happiness seekers' characteristics and naturalistic behaviors.
Imperatori, Claudio; Brunetti, Riccardo; Farina, Benedetto; Speranza, Anna Maria; Losurdo, Anna; Testani, Elisa; Contardi, Anna; Della Marca, Giacomo
The aim of the present study was to explore the modifications of scalp EEG power spectra and EEG connectivity during the autobiographical memory test (AM-T) and during the retrieval of an autobiographical event (the high school final examination, Task 2). Seventeen healthy volunteers were enrolled (9 women and 8 men, mean age 23.4 ± 2.8 years, range 19-30). EEG was recorded at baseline and while performing the autobiographical memory (AM) tasks, by means of 19 surface electrodes and a nasopharyngeal electrode. EEG analysis was conducted by means of the standardized LOw Resolution Electric Tomography (sLORETA) software. Power spectra and lagged EEG coherence were compared between EEG acquired during the memory tasks and baseline recording. The frequency bands considered were as follows: delta (0.5-4 Hz); theta (4.5-7.5 Hz); alpha (8-12.5 Hz); beta1 (13-17.5 Hz); beta2 (18-30 Hz); gamma (30.5-60 Hz). During AM-T, we observed a significant delta power increase in left frontal and midline cortices (T = 3.554; p < 0.05) and increased EEG connectivity in delta band in prefrontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital areas, and for gamma bands in the left temporo-parietal regions (T = 4.154; p < 0.05). In Task 2, we measured an increased power in the gamma band located in the left posterior midline areas (T = 3.960; p < 0.05) and a significant increase in delta band connectivity in the prefrontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital areas, and in the gamma band involving right temporo-parietal areas (T = 4.579; p < 0.05). These results indicate that AM retrieval engages in a complex network which is mediated by both low- (delta) and high-frequency (gamma) EEG bands.
Noreen, Saima; Macleod, Malcolm D
Using a novel autobiographical think/no-think procedure (ATNT; a modified version of the think/no-think task), 2 studies explored the extent to which we possess executive control over autobiographical memory. In Study 1, 30 never-depressed participants generated 12 positive and 12 negative autobiographical memories. Memories associated with cue-personal word pairings were learned to criterion. Participants were then asked to recall the memory associated with some of the cue-personal word pairs (i.e., think condition) or to avoid saying or thinking about the memory associated with others (i.e., no-think condition). In a subsequent test of recall, systematic forgetting effects emerged for no-think autobiographical memories compared to baseline that received neither no-think nor think instructions. These findings were extended and replicated in a second ATNT study (using a further 30 never-depressed participants), which showed that the forgetting of autobiographical memories in the no-think condition was unlikely to be a function of thought substitution or demand characteristics.
El Haj, Mohamad; Nandrino, Jean-Louis; Antoine, Pascal; Boucart, Muriel; Lenoble, Quentin
This study assessed whether specific eye movement patterns are observed during emotional autobiographical retrieval. Participants were asked to retrieve positive, negative and neutral memories while their scan path was recorded by an eye-tracker. Results showed that positive and negative emotional memories triggered more fixations and saccades but shorter fixation duration than neutral memories. No significant differences were observed between emotional and neutral memories for duration and amplitude of saccades. Positive and negative retrieval triggered similar eye movement (i.e., similar number of fixations and saccades, fixation duration, duration of saccades, and amplitude of saccades). Interestingly, the participants reported higher visual imagery for emotional memories than for neutral memories. The findings demonstrate similarities and differences in eye movement during retrieval of neutral and emotional memories. Eye movement during autobiographical retrieval seems to be triggered by the creation of visual mental images as the latter are indexed by autobiographical reconstruction.
Sheldon, Signy; Donahue, Julia
Remembering is impacted by several factors of retrieval, including the emotional content of a memory cue. Here we tested how musical retrieval cues that differed on two dimensions of emotion-valence (positive and negative) and arousal (high and low)-impacted the following aspects of autobiographical memory recall: the response time to access a past personal event, the experience of remembering (ratings of memory vividness), the emotional content of a cued memory (ratings of event arousal and valence), and the type of event recalled (ratings of event energy, socialness, and uniqueness). We further explored how cue presentation affected autobiographical memory retrieval by administering cues of similar arousal and valence levels in a blocked fashion to one half of the tested participants, and randomly to the other half. We report three main findings. First, memories were accessed most quickly in response to musical cues that were highly arousing and positive in emotion. Second, we observed a relation between a cue and the elicited memory's emotional valence but not arousal; however, both the cue valence and arousal related to the nature of the recalled event. Specifically, high cue arousal led to lower memory vividness and uniqueness ratings, but cues with both high arousal and positive valence were associated with memories rated as more social and energetic. Finally, cue presentation impacted both how quickly and specifically memories were accessed and how cue valence affected the memory vividness ratings. The implications of these findings for views of how emotion directs the access to memories and the experience of remembering are discussed.
Nelis, Sabine; Debeer, Elise; Holmes, Emily A.; Raes, Filip
Autobiographical memories are retrieved as images from either a field perspective or an observer perspective. The observer perspective is thought to dull emotion. Positive affect is blunted in depressed mood. Consequently, are positive events recalled from an observer perspective in depressed mood? We investigated the relationship between memory vantage perspective and depressive symptoms in a student sample. Participants completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986) and assessed the perspective accompanying each memory. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) and the Responses to Positive Affect questionnaire (RPA; Feldman, Joormann, & Johnson, 2008) were administered. The results showed a small positive association between depressive symptoms and the use of an observer perspective for positive autobiographical memories, but not for negative memories. Furthermore, comparing a subgroup with clinically significant symptom levels (dysphoric students) with non-dysphoric individuals revealed that dysphoric students used an observer perspective more for positive memories compared with negative memories. This was not the case for non-dysphoric students. The observer perspective in dysphorics was associated with a dampening cognitive style in response to positive experiences. PMID:23083015
Lawrence, Elizabeth M; Rogers, Richard G; Wadsworth, Tim
This is the first study to our knowledge to examine the relationship between happiness and longevity among a nationally representative sample of adults. We use the recently-released General Social Survey-National Death Index dataset and Cox proportional hazards models to reveal that overall happiness is related to longer lives among U.S. adults. Indeed, compared to very happy people, the risk of death over the follow-up period is 6% (95% CI 1.01-1.11) higher among individuals who are pretty happy and 14% (95% CI 1.06-1.22) higher among those who are not happy, net of marital status, socioeconomic status, census division, and religious attendance. This study provides support for happiness as a stand-alone indicator of well-being that should be used more widely in social science and health research.
Lawrence, Elizabeth M.; Rogers, Richard G.; Wadsworth, Tim
This is the first study to our knowledge to examine the relationship between happiness and longevity among a nationally representative sample of adults. We use the recently-released General Social Survey-National Death Index dataset and Cox proportional hazards models to reveal that overall happiness is related to longer lives among U.S. adults. Indeed, compared to very happy people, the risk of death over the follow-up period is 6% (95% CI 1.01 – 1.11) higher among individuals who are pretty happy and 14% (95% CI 1.06 – 1.22) higher among those who are not happy, net of marital status, socioeconomic status, census division, and religious attendance. This study provides support for happiness as a stand-alone indicator of well-being that should be used more widely in social science and health research. PMID:26421947
Easterlin, Richard A; McVey, Laura Angelescu; Switek, Malgorzata; Sawangfa, Onnicha; Zweig, Jacqueline Smith
The striking thing about the happiness-income paradox is that over the long-term--usually a period of 10 y or more--happiness does not increase as a country's income rises. Heretofore the evidence for this was limited to developed countries. This article presents evidence that the long term nil relationship between happiness and income holds also for a number of developing countries, the eastern European countries transitioning from socialism to capitalism, and an even wider sample of developed countries than previously studied. It also finds that in the short-term in all three groups of countries, happiness and income go together, i.e., happiness tends to fall in economic contractions and rise in expansions. Recent critiques of the paradox, claiming the time series relationship between happiness and income is positive, are the result either of a statistical artifact or a confusion of the short-term relationship with the long-term one.
Gao, Yue; Edelman, Shimon
We offer and test a simple operationalization of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being (“happiness”) as mediating variables that link outcomes to motivation. In six evolutionary agent-based simulation experiments, we compared the relative performance of agents endowed with different combinations of happiness-related traits (parameter values), under four types of environmental conditions. We found (i) that the effects of attaching more weight to longer-term than to momentary happiness and of extending the memory for past happiness are both stronger in an environment where food is scarce; (ii) that in such an environment “relative consumption,” in which the agent’s well-being is negatively affected by that of its neighbors, is more detrimental to survival when food is scarce; and (iii) that having a positive outlook, under which agents’ longer-term happiness is increased by positive events more than it is decreased by negative ones, is generally advantageous. PMID:27144982
Beike, Denise R; Cole, Holly E; Merrick, Carmen R
Sharing memories in conversations with close others is posited to be part of the social function of autobiographical memory. The present research focused on the sharing of a particular type of memory: Specific memories about one-time co-experienced events, which we termed Specific We memories. Two studies with 595 total participants examined the factors that lead to and/or are influenced by the sharing of Specific We memories. In Study 1, participants reported on their most recent conversation. Specific We memories were reportedly discussed most often in conversations with others who were close and with whom the participant had frequent communication. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned either to increase or to simply record the frequency of communication with a close other (parent). Increases in the frequency of reported sharing of Specific We memories as well as closeness to the parent resulted. Mediation analyses of both studies revealed causal relationships among reported sharing of Specific We memories and closeness. We discuss the relevance of these results for understanding the social function of autobiographical memory.
Esposito, Alena G; Baker-Ward, Lynne
This investigation examined two controversies in the autobiographical literature: how cross-language immigration affects the distribution of autobiographical memories across the lifespan and under what circumstances language-dependent recall is observed. Both Spanish/English bilingual immigrants and English monolingual non-immigrants participated in a cue word study, with the bilingual sample taking part in a within-subject language manipulation. The expected bump in the number of memories from early life was observed for non-immigrants but not immigrants, who reported more memories for events surrounding immigration. Aspects of the methodology addressed possible reasons for past discrepant findings. Language-dependent recall was influenced by second-language proficiency. Results were interpreted as evidence that bilinguals with high second-language proficiency, in contrast to those with lower second-language proficiency, access a single conceptual store through either language. The final multi-level model predicting language-dependent recall, including second-language proficiency, age of immigration, internal language, and cue word language, explained ¾ of the between-person variance and (1)/5 of the within-person variance. We arrive at two conclusions. First, major life transitions influence the distribution of memories. Second, concept representation across multiple languages follows a developmental model. In addition, the results underscore the importance of considering language experience in research involving memory reports.
Schneider, Sophia; Brassen, Stefanie
Brooding rumination is considered a central aspect of depression in midlife. As older people tend to review their past, rumination tendency might be particularly crucial in late life since it might hinder older adults to adequately evaluate previous events. We scanned 22 non-depressed older adults with varying degrees of brooding tendency with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they performed the construction and elaboration of autobiographical memories. Behavioral findings demonstrate that brooders reported lower mood states, needed more time for memory construction and rated their memories as less detailed and less positive. On the neural level, brooding tendency was related to increased amygdala activation during the search for specific memories and reduced engagement of cortical networks during elaboration. Moreover, coupling patterns of the subgenual cingulate cortex with the hippocampus (HC) and the amygdala predicted details and less positive valence of memories in brooders. Our findings support the hypothesis that ruminative thinking interferes with the search for specific memories while facilitating the uncontrolled retrieval of negatively biased self-schemes. The observed neurobehavioral dysfunctions might put older people with brooding tendency at high risk for becoming depressed when reviewing their past. Training of autobiographical memory ability might therefore be a promising approach to increase resilience against depression in late-life. PMID:27695414
Yang, Xiao-Fei; Bossmann, Julia; Schiffhauer, Birte; Jordan, Matthew; Immordino-Yang, Mary Helen
Neural systems activated in a coordinated way during rest, known as the default mode network (DMN), also support autobiographical memory (AM) retrieval and social processing/mentalizing. However, little is known about how individual variability in reliance on personal memories during social processing relates to individual differences in DMN functioning during rest (intrinsic functional connectivity). Here we examined 18 participants’ spontaneous descriptions of autobiographical memories during a 2 h, private, open-ended interview in which they reacted to a series of true stories about real people’s social situations and responded to the prompt, “how does this person’s story make you feel?” We classified these descriptions as either containing factual information (“semantic” AMs) or more elaborate descriptions of emotionally meaningful events (“episodic” AMs). We also collected resting state fMRI scans from the participants and related individual differences in frequency of described AMs to participants’ intrinsic functional connectivity within regions of the DMN. We found that producing more descriptions of either memory type correlated with stronger intrinsic connectivity in the parahippocampal and middle temporal gyri. Additionally, episodic AM descriptions correlated with connectivity in the bilateral hippocampi and medial prefrontal cortex, and semantic memory descriptions correlated with connectivity in right inferior lateral parietal cortex. These findings suggest that in individuals who naturally invoke more memories during social processing, brain regions involved in memory retrieval and self/social processing are more strongly coupled to the DMN during rest. PMID:23316178
Ridout, Nathan; Matharu, Munveen; Sanders, Elizabeth; Wallis, Deborah J
The primary aim was to examine the influence of subclinical disordered eating on autobiographical memory specificity (AMS) and social problem solving (SPS). A further aim was to establish if AMS mediated the relationship between eating psychopathology and SPS. A non-clinical sample of 52 females completed the autobiographical memory test (AMT), where they were asked to retrieve specific memories of events from their past in response to cue words, and the means-end problem-solving task (MEPS), where they were asked to generate means of solving a series of social problems. Participants also completed the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. After controlling for mood, high scores on the EDI subscales, particularly Drive-for-Thinness, were associated with the retrieval of fewer specific and a greater proportion of categorical memories on the AMT and with the generation of fewer and less effective means on the MEPS. Memory specificity fully mediated the relationship between eating psychopathology and SPS. These findings have implications for individuals exhibiting high levels of disordered eating, as poor AMS and SPS are likely to impact negatively on their psychological wellbeing and everyday social functioning and could represent a risk factor for the development of clinically significant eating disorders.
Steffel, Mary; Oppenheimer, Daniel M.
The present research suggests that many of the most commonly-used indicators of happiness are constructed in a manner that renders them susceptible to null or misleading findings. While few happiness indicators specify particular comparison standards, we demonstrate that people tend to evaluate their happiness relative to comparison standards and…
Kim, Myoung So; Kim, Hye Won; Cha, Kyeong Ho; Lim, Jeeyoung
The current study explored the perceptions of Korean people about what can make them happy and constructed a comprehensive measurement of happiness of Korean. A total of 61 Korean adults participated in Focused Group Interview (FGI), where they were asked three questions (e.g., What makes you happy? What could make you happier than now? In…
Nelson, Katherine; Fivush, Robyn
The authors present a multicomponent dynamic developmental theory of human autobiographical memory that emerges gradually across the preschool years. The components that contribute to the process of emergence include basic memory abilities, language and narrative, adult memory talk, temporal understanding, and understanding of self and others. The…
Takano, Keisuke; Gutenbrunner, Charlotte; Martens, Kris; Salmon, Karen; Raes, Filip
Reduced specificity of autobiographical memories is a hallmark of depressive cognition. Autobiographical memory (AM) specificity is typically measured by the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), in which respondents are asked to describe personal memories in response to emotional cue words. Due to this free descriptive responding format, the AMT relies on experts' hand scoring for subsequent statistical analyses. This manual coding potentially impedes research activities in big data analytics such as large epidemiological studies. Here, we propose computerized algorithms to automatically score AM specificity for the Dutch (adult participants) and English (youth participants) versions of the AMT by using natural language processing and machine learning techniques. The algorithms showed reliable performances in discriminating specific and nonspecific (e.g., overgeneralized) autobiographical memories in independent testing data sets (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve > .90). Furthermore, outcome values of the algorithms (i.e., decision values of support vector machines) showed a gradient across similar (e.g., specific and extended memories) and different (e.g., specific memory and semantic associates) categories of AMT responses, suggesting that, for both adults and youth, the algorithms well capture the extent to which a memory has features of specific memories. (PsycINFO Database Record
Johnson, Rebecca J.; Greenhoot, Andrea Follmer; Glisky, Elizabeth; McCloskey, Laura A.
This study examined the relations among early and recent experiences with abuse, depression, and adolescents' autobiographical memory in a longitudinal study of family violence. Participants' (N = 134) exposure to violence was documented when they were 6 to 12 years old and again when they were 12 to 18 years old. The second assessment included…
Vrielynck, Nathalie; Deplus, Sandrine; Philippot, Pierre
Overgeneral autobiographical memory seems to be a stable cognitive marker in depressed adults and may predict persistence of depression. This study investigated whether depressive disorders in children are associated with overgeneral memory. Sixty children (ages 9 to 13 years) participated; 15 were diagnosed with lifetime depressive disorder, 25…
Crane, Laura; Pring, Linda; Jukes, Kaylee; Goddard, Lorna
Two studies are presented that explored the effects of experimental manipulations on the quality and accessibility of autobiographical memories in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), relative to a typical comparison group matched for age, gender and IQ. Both studies found that the adults with ASD generated fewer specific memories than the…
Martin, Maryanne; Jones, Gregory V.
Studies of autobiographical memory have shown that observed levels of incidental learning are often relatively low. Do low levels of retention result simply from a low learning rate, or is learning also asymptotic? To address this question, it is necessary to trace performance over a large number of learning opportunities, and this was carried out…
Seno, Takeharu; Kawabe, Takahiro; Ito, Hiroyuki; Sunaga, Shoji
We examined whether illusory self-motion perception ("vection") induced by viewing upward and downward grating motion stimuli can alter the emotional valence of recollected autobiographical episodic memories. We found that participants recollected positive episodes more often while perceiving upward vection. However, when we tested a small moving…
Brown, David W.; Anda, Robert F.; Edwards, Valerie J.; Felitti, Vincent J.; Dube, Shanta R.; Giles, Wayne H.
Objective: To examine relationships between childhood autobiographical memory disturbance (CAMD) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which are defined as common forms of child maltreatment and related traumatic stressors. Methods: We use the ACE score (an integer count of eight different categories of ACEs) as a measure of cumulative exposure…
Gluck, Judith; Bluck, Susan; Baron, Jacqueline; McAdams, Dan P.
This research uses an autobiographical approach to examine the relation of age to several aspects of wisdom. In Study 1 (N = 86), adolescents', young adults', and older adults' wisdom narratives were content-coded for the types of life situations mentioned and the forms that wisdom took. Types of life situations reported (e.g., life decisions)…
This autobiographical account provides a historical map of landmarks in the author's personal and professional life that led him to his present understanding of public anthropology as public pedagogy and vice versa. He indicates that his experiences led him to study sociocultural anthropology to investigate learning from experience, a foundational…
Ricarte, J J; Hernández, J V; Latorre, J M; Danion, J M; Berna, F
Although patients with schizophrenia exhibit autobiographical memory impairment, which is considered to be a limiting factor in their daily life, the mechanisms underlying such impairment have been rarely studied. In the current study, we investigate whether rumination and, in particular, brooding, which is a form of maladaptive repetitive thinking, may be linked to the difficulty that patients with schizophrenia experience when attempting to access specific autobiographical memories. Our results indicate that patients reported less specific autobiographical memories compared to control participants. Patients also displayed a higher level of brooding and had more depressive symptoms. According to the CaR-FA-X model (Williams et al., 2007), depression and brooding were associated with memory specificity in control participants. In contrast, neither depression nor brooding was correlated with memory specificity in patients. These results suggest that depression and rumination may not be directly related to patients' difficulty to recall specific memories and that other factors, such as metacognitive deficits, must first be considered when seeking interventions aimed to improve autobiographical memory in patients with schizophrenia.
Sinelnikov, Oleg A.; Hastie, Peter A.
This study examines the recollections of the Sport Education experiences of a cohort of students (15 boys and 19 girls) who had participated in seasons of basketball, soccer and badminton across grades six through eight (average age at data collection = 15.6 years). Using autobiographic memory theory techniques, the students completed surveys and…
St Jacques, Peggy L; Szpunar, Karl K; Schacter, Daniel L
The dynamic and flexible nature of memories is evident in our ability to adopt multiple visual perspectives. Although autobiographical memories are typically encoded from the visual perspective of our own eyes they can be retrieved from the perspective of an observer looking at our self. Here, we examined the neural mechanisms of shifting visual perspective during long-term memory retrieval and its influence on online and subsequent memories using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants generated specific autobiographical memories from the last five years and rated their visual perspective. In a separate fMRI session, they were asked to retrieve the memories across three repetitions while maintaining the same visual perspective as their initial rating or by shifting to an alternative perspective. Visual perspective shifting during autobiographical memory retrieval was supported by a linear decrease in neural recruitment across repetitions in the posterior parietal cortices. Additional analyses revealed that the precuneus, in particular, contributed to both online and subsequent changes in the phenomenology of memories. Our findings show that flexibly shifting egocentric perspective during autobiographical memory retrieval is supported by the precuneus, and suggest that this manipulation of mental imagery during retrieval has consequences for how memories are retrieved and later remembered.
Harris, Celia B; Rasmussen, Anne S; Berntsen, Dorthe
Recent research in cognitive psychology has emphasised the uses, or functions, of autobiographical memory. Theoretical and empirical approaches have focused on a three-function model: autobiographical memory serves self, directive, and social functions. In the reminiscence literature other taxonomies and additional functions have been postulated. We examined the relationships between functions proposed by these literatures, in order to broaden conceptualisations and make links between research traditions. In Study 1 we combined two measures of individual differences in the uses of autobiographical memory. Our results suggested four classes of memory functions, which we labelled Reflective, Generative, Ruminative, and Social. In Study 2 we tested relationships between our four functions and broader individual differences, and found conceptually consistent relationships. In Study 3 we found that memories cued by Generative and Social functions were more emotionally positive than were memories cued by Reflective and Ruminative functions. In Study 4 we found that reported use of Generative functions increased across the lifespan, while reported use of the other three functions decreased. Overall our findings suggest a broader view of autobiographical memory functions that links them to ways in which people make meaning of their selves, their environment, and their social world more generally.
... management Are you tired of waiting around for happiness to find you? Stop waiting and start getting ... to be happy? Or are you waiting for happiness to find you? Despite what the fairy tales ...
Peltonen, Kirsi; Kangaslampi, Samuli; Qouta, Samir; Punamäki, Raija-Leena
The contents of earliest memories (EM), as part of autobiographical memory, continue to fascinate scientists and therapists. However, research is scarce on the determinants of EM, especially among children. This study aims, first, to identify contents of EM of children living in war conditions, and, second, to analyse child gender, traumatic events and mental health as determinants of the contents of EM. The participants were 240 Palestinian schoolchildren from the Gaza Strip (10-12 years, M = 11.35, SD = 0.57; 49.4% girls). They responded to an open-ended EM question, and reported their trauma exposures (war trauma, losses and current traumatic events), posttraumatic stress, depressive symptoms and psychosocial well-being, indicating mental health. The EM coding involved nature, social orientation, emotional tone and specificity. Results showed, first, that 43% reported playing or visiting a nice place as EM, and about a third (30%) traumatic events or accidents (30%) or miscellaneous events (27%). The individual and social orientation were almost equally common, the emotional tone mainly neutral (45.5%), and 60% remembered a specific event. Second, boys remembered more EM involving traumatic events or accidents, and girls more social events. Third, war trauma was associated with less positive emotional tone and with more specific memories.
Marsh, Benjamin U; Pezdek, Kathy; Lam, Shirley T
Two experiments tested and confirmed the hypothesis that when the phenomenological characteristics of imagined events are more similar to those of related autobiographical memories, the imagined event is more likely to be considered to have occurred. At Time 1 and 2-weeks later, individuals rated the likelihood of occurrence for 20 life events. In Experiment 1, 1-week after Time 1, individuals imagined 3 childhood events from a first-person or third-person perspective. There was a no-imagination control. An increase in likelihood ratings from Time 1 to Time 2 resulted when imagination was from the third-person but not first-person perspective. In Experiment 2, childhood and recent events were imagined from a third- or first-person perspective. A significant interaction resulted. For childhood events, likelihood change scores were greater for third-person than first-person perspective; for recent adult events, likelihood change scores were greater for first-person than third-person perspective, although this latter trend was not significant.
Esopenko, Carrie; Levine, Brian
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with a range of neuropsychological deficits, including attention, memory, and executive functioning attributable to diffuse axonal injury (DAI) with accompanying focal frontal and temporal damage. Although the memory deficit of TBI has been well characterized with laboratory tests, comparatively little research has examined retrograde autobiographical memory (AM) at the chronic phase of TBI, with no prior studies of unselected patients drawn directly from hospital admissions for trauma. Moreover, little is known about the effects of TBI on canonical episodic and non-episodic (e.g., semantic) AM processes. In the present study, we assessed the effects of chronic-phase TBI on AM in patients with focal and DAI spanning the range of TBI severity. Patients and socioeconomic- and age-matched controls were administered the Autobiographical Interview (AI) (Levine, Svoboda, Hay, Winocur, & Moscovitch, 2002) a widely used method for dissociating episodic and semantic elements of AM, along with tests of neuropsychological and functional outcome. Measures of episodic and non-episodic AM were compared with regional brain volumes derived from high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Severe TBI (but not mild or moderate TBI) was associated with reduced recall of episodic autobiographical details and increased recall of non-episodic details relative to healthy comparison participants. There were no significant associations between AM performance and neuropsychological or functional outcome measures. Within the full TBI sample, autobiographical episodic memory was associated with reduced volume distributed across temporal, parietal, and prefrontal regions considered to be part of the brain's AM network. These results suggest that TBI-related distributed volume loss affects episodic autobiographical recollection.
facilities will continue to play a leading role in astronomical research. Information for the media Associated material can be found on the corresponding Press Events webpage.
Cunado, Juncal; Perez de Gracia, Fernando
This paper explores the relationship between air pollution, climate and reported subjective well-being (or happiness) in Spanish regions. The results show that, after controlling for most of the socio-economic variables affecting happiness, there are still significant regional differences in subjective well-being. Evidence also suggests that…
Gudmundsdottir, Dora Gudrun
There is a common belief that economic crisis will lead to a decrease in subjective wellbeing. Previous studies indicate that income is correlated with happiness and unemployment with unhappiness. The relationship between increased income and happiness is well documented while the impact of decreased income has been less explored. The aim of this…
Myrskylä, Mikko; Margolis, Rachel
Understanding how having children influences parents' subjective well-being ("happiness") has great potential to explain fertility behavior. We study parental happiness trajectories before and after the birth of a child, using large British and German longitudinal data sets. We account for unobserved parental characteristics using fixed-effects models and study how sociodemographic factors modify the parental happiness trajectories. Consistent with existing work, we find that happiness increases in the years around the birth of a first child and then decreases to before-child levels. Moreover, happiness increases before birth, suggesting that the trajectories may capture not only the effect of the birth but also the broader process of childbearing, which may include partnership formation and quality. Sociodemographic factors strongly modify this pattern. Those who have children at older ages or who have more education have a particularly positive happiness response to a first birth; and although having the first two children increases happiness, having a third child does not. The results, which are similar in Britain and Germany, suggest that having up to two children increases happiness, and mostly for those who have postponed childbearing. This pattern is consistent with the fertility behavior that emerged during the second demographic transition and provides new insights into low and late fertility.
This essay explores the question: Is Nel Noddings a visionary who sees past the constraints of contemporary education or is she, like Don Quixote, madly tilting at windmills in her description and defense of happiness as an educational aim? Viewing the educational aim of happiness as an ideal raises substantial challenges for the practicality of…
This research aims to investigate life satisfaction and happiness in Turkey. It extends the previous researches on subjective well-being (SWB) for Turkey by considering both happiness and life satisfaction. The previous researches for Turkey are local studies, and their findings cannot be generalized to the population of Turkish society. Given…
Karylowski, Jerzy J; Mrozinski, Blazej
Self-reports regarding how people visualise themselves during events that occurred in the past show that for events from the distant past individuals report assuming a more external perspective than for events from the recent past [Nigro, G., & Neisser, U. (1983). Point of view in personal memories. Cognitive Psychology, 15, 467-482; Pronin, E., & Ross, L. (2006). Temporal differences in trait self-ascription. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 90, 197-209]. Thus it appears that, with the passage of time, representations of self embodied in memories of past events lose their position of an insider and assume a more ordinary position of self as an object seen from the perspective of an outside observer. The purpose of the present experiment was to examine this shift using a performance-based measure of accessibility. Results showed that self-judgements regarding unobservable, covert characteristics were faster for recent-compared to more distant-autobiographical events. However, self-judgements regarding observable, overt characteristics were faster for more distant events. This suggests an accessibility-based mechanism underlying the shift from internal to the relatively more external perspective in forming self-images related to the distant past.
Machado, Leonardo; Tavares, Hermano; Petribú, Kátia; Pinto, Tiago; Cantilino, Amaury
The aim of this study was to measure happiness in a sample of Brazilian psychiatrists and correlate it with the defense styles used by them and sociodemographic data. This study was observational, cross-sectional, and analytical. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires by Brazilian psychiatrists who participated in the XXXII Brazilian Congress of Psychiatry, 2014. In this sample of psychiatrists, happiness levels were high (scoring 5.69 of a total of 7), and mature defense styles prevailed, especially humor and anticipation. In a multivariate analysis, having children, good sleep quality, increased sexual interest, and use of defense styles such as humor, anticipation, and idealization all showed a positive relationship with happiness; on the other hand, using defense style such as acting out or annulment demonstrated a negative relationship with happiness. Despite the well-known professional burden that they bear, Brazilian psychiatrists surveyed presented, in general, high levels of subjective well-being and happiness.
Spinhoven, Philip; Elzinga, Bernet M.; Giltay, Erik; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.
This study aimed to examine cross-sectionally to what extent persons with higher symptom levels or a current or past emotional disorder report to be less happy than controls and to assess prospectively whether time-lagged measurements of extraversion and neuroticism predict future happiness independent of time-lagged measurements of emotional disorders or symptom severity. A sample of 2142 adults aged 18–65, consisting of healthy controls and persons with current or past emotional disorder according to DSM-IV criteria completed self-ratings for happiness and emotional well-being and symptom severity. Lagged measurements of personality, symptom severity and presence of anxiety and depressive disorder at T0 (year 0), T2 (year 2) and T4 (year 4) were used to predict happiness and emotional well-being at T6 (year 6) controlling for demographics. In particular persons with more depressive symptoms, major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder and comorbid emotional disorders reported lower levels of happiness and emotional well-being. Depression symptom severity and to a lesser extent depressive disorder predicted future happiness and emotional well-being at T6. Extraversion and to a lesser extent neuroticism also consistently forecasted future happiness and emotional well-being independent of concurrent lagged measurements of emotional disorders and symptoms. A study limitation is that we only measured happiness and emotional well-being at T6 and our measures were confined to hedonistic well-being and did not include psychological and social well-being. In sum, consistent with the two continua model of emotional well-being and mental illness, a ‘happy’ personality characterized by high extraversion and to a lesser extent low neuroticism forecasts future happiness and emotional well-being independent of concurrently measured emotional disorders or symptom severity levels. Boosting positive emotionality may be an important treatment goal for persons
Ott, J C
There are substantial differences in happiness in nations. Average happiness on scale 0-10 ranges in 2006 from 3.24 in Togo to 8.00 in Denmark and the inequality of happiness, as measured by the standard deviation, ranges from 0.85 in Laos to 3.02 in the Dominican Republic. Much of these differences are due to quality of governance and in particular to 'technical' quality. Once a minimum level is reached, rising technical quality boosts average happiness proportionally. Good governance does not only produce a higher level of happiness, but also lowers inequality of happiness among citizens. The relation between good governance and inequality of happiness is not linear, but follows a bell shaped pattern, inequality of happiness being highest in nations where the quality of government is at a medium level. The relation between the size of government and average happiness depends heavily on the quality of government; good-big government adds to happiness but bad-big government does not. Possible explanations of these findings are discussed.
Butler, Andrew C; Rice, Heather J; Wooldridge, Cynthia L; Rubin, David C
Recent memories are generally recalled from a first-person perspective whereas older memories are often recalled from a third-person perspective. We investigated how repeated retrieval affects the availability of visual information, and whether it could explain the observed shift in perspective with time. In Experiment 1, participants performed mini-events and nominated memories of recent autobiographical events in response to cue words. Next, they described their memory for each event and rated its phenomenological characteristics. Over the following three weeks, they repeatedly retrieved half of the mini-event and cue-word memories. No instructions were given about how to retrieve the memories. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to adopt either a first- or third-person perspective during retrieval. One month later, participants retrieved all of the memories and again provided phenomenology ratings. When first-person visual details from the event were repeatedly retrieved, this information was retained better and the shift in perspective was slowed.
Patihis, Lawrence; Frenda, Steven J.; LePort, Aurora K. R.; Petersen, Nicole; Nichols, Rebecca M.; Stark, Craig E. L.; McGaugh, James L.; Loftus, Elizabeth F.
The recent identification of highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) raised the possibility that there may be individuals who are immune to memory distortions. We measured HSAM participants’ and age- and sex-matched controls’ susceptibility to false memories using several research paradigms. HSAM participants and controls were both susceptible to false recognition of nonpresented critical lure words in an associative word-list task. In a misinformation task, HSAM participants showed higher overall false memory compared with that of controls for details in a photographic slideshow. HSAM participants were equally as likely as controls to mistakenly report they had seen nonexistent footage of a plane crash. Finding false memories in a superior-memory group suggests that malleable reconstructive mechanisms may be fundamental to episodic remembering. Paradoxically, HSAM individuals may retrieve abundant and accurate autobiographical memories using fallible reconstructive processes. PMID:24248358
Patihis, Lawrence; Frenda, Steven J; LePort, Aurora K R; Petersen, Nicole; Nichols, Rebecca M; Stark, Craig E L; McGaugh, James L; Loftus, Elizabeth F
The recent identification of highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) raised the possibility that there may be individuals who are immune to memory distortions. We measured HSAM participants' and age- and sex-matched controls' susceptibility to false memories using several research paradigms. HSAM participants and controls were both susceptible to false recognition of nonpresented critical lure words in an associative word-list task. In a misinformation task, HSAM participants showed higher overall false memory compared with that of controls for details in a photographic slideshow. HSAM participants were equally as likely as controls to mistakenly report they had seen nonexistent footage of a plane crash. Finding false memories in a superior-memory group suggests that malleable reconstructive mechanisms may be fundamental to episodic remembering. Paradoxically, HSAM individuals may retrieve abundant and accurate autobiographical memories using fallible reconstructive processes.
Bedwell, J S; Gallagher, S; Whitten, S N; Fiore, S M
The current study collected orally-delivered autobiographical narratives from a sample of 44 undergraduate students. Participants were asked to produce both deceptive and non-deceptive versions of their narrative to two specific autobiographical question prompts while standing in front of a video camera. Narratives were then analyzed with Coh-Metrix software on 33 indices of linguistic cohesion. Following a Bonferroni correction for the large number of linguistic variables (p<.002), results indicated that the deceptive narratives contained more explicit action verbs, less linguistic complexity, and less referential coherence (sentences being cohesive with each other). The results support a theory that, in deceptive narratives, there is greater narrative distance between the self that narrates and the self that is narrated about. This suggests that narrative selves are constituted not as autonomous selves, but are subject to processes (e.g., psychological, linguistic, social) that are likely operating on a subconscious level.
Baird, A; Samson, S
Music evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) have been characterised in the healthy population, but not, to date, in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). Our aim was to investigate music compared with verbal evoked autobiographical memories. Five patients with severe ABI and matched controls completed the experimental music (MEAM) task (a written questionnaire) while listening to 50 "Number 1 Songs of the Year" (from 1960 to 2010). Patients also completed the Autobiographical Memory Interview (AMI) and a standard neuropsychological assessment. With the exception of Case 5, who reported no MEAMs and no autobiographical incidents on the AMI and who also had impaired pitch perception, the range of frequency and type of MEAMs in patients was broadly in keeping with their matched controls. The relative preservation of MEAMs in four cases was particularly noteworthy given their impaired verbal and/or visual anterograde memory, and in three cases, autobiographical memory impairment. The majority of MEAMs in both cases and matched controls were of a person/people or a period of life. In three patients music was more efficient at evoking autobiographical memories than the AMI verbal prompts. This is the first study of MEAMs after ABI. The findings suggest that music is an effective stimulus for eliciting autobiographical memories, and may be beneficial in the rehabilitation of autobiographical amnesia, but only in patients without a fundamental deficit in autobiographical recall memory and intact pitch perception.
Ford, Brett Q; Mauss, Iris B; Gruber, June
Although people who experience happiness tend to have better psychological health, people who value happiness to an extreme tend to have worse psychological health, including more depression. We propose that the extreme valuing of happiness may be a general risk factor for mood disturbances, both depressive and manic. To test this hypothesis, we examined the relationship between the extreme valuing of happiness and risk for, diagnosis of, and illness course for bipolar disorder (BD). Supporting our hypothesis, the extreme valuing of happiness was associated with a measure of increased risk for developing BD (Studies 1 and 2), increased likelihood of past diagnosis of BD (Studies 2 and 3), and worse prospective illness course in BD (Study 3), even when controlling for current mood symptoms (Studies 1-3). These findings indicate that the extreme valuing of happiness is associated with and even predicts BD. Taken together with previous evidence, these findings suggest that the extreme valuing of happiness is a general risk factor for mood disturbances. More broadly, what emotions people strive to feel may play a critical role in psychological health.
Palmer, Barton W; Martin, Averria Sirkin; Depp, Colin A; Glorioso, Danielle K; Jeste, Dilip V
Schizophrenia is typically a chronic disorder and among the most severe forms of serious mental illnesses in terms of adverse impact on quality of life. Yet, there have been suggestions that some people with schizophrenia can experience an overall sense of happiness in their lives. We investigated happiness among 72 outpatients with non-remitted chronic schizophrenia with a mean duration of illness of 24.4 years, and 64 healthy comparison subjects (HCs). Despite continued treatment with antipsychotic medications, the individuals with schizophrenia manifested a mild to moderate level of psychopathology. People with schizophrenia reported lower mean levels of happiness than HCs, but there was substantial heterogeneity within the schizophrenia group. Level of happiness in persons with schizophrenia was significantly correlated with higher mental health-related quality of life, and several positive psychosocial factors (lower perceived stress, and higher levels of resilience, optimism, and personal mastery). However, level of happiness was not related to sociodemographic characteristics, duration of illness, severity of positive or negative symptoms, physical function, medical comorbidity, or cognitive functioning. Except for an absence of an association with resilience, the pattern of correlations of happiness with other variables seen among HCs was similar to that in individuals with schizophrenia. Although happiness may be harder to achieve in the context of a serious mental illness, it nonetheless appears to be a viable treatment goal in schizophrenia. Psychotherapies targeting positive coping factors such as resilience, optimism, and personal mastery warrant further investigation.
Kaliterna-Lipovčan, Ljiljana; Prizmić-Larsen, Zvjezdana
This study explores the determinants (demographic, personal, behavioural, and social) by which happy and unhappy people differ. The primary sample from which the participants were chosen was a representative sample of Croatian citizens (N = 4000). On the basis of the distribution of overall happiness the sample of the highest (the happy group) and the lowest 10 % of participants (the unhappy group) were selected. The happy group (N = 400) represented the upper end of the happiness distribution, while the unhappy group (N = 400) represented the lower end of the distribution. The questionnaire included demographic characteristics (age, gender, income, and education), ratings of subjective health status, satisfaction with specific personal and national domains (IWI-International Wellbeing Index), trust in people, and trust in institutions. Frequency of various leisure activities, and involvement in the community life were also reported. The differences in examined variables were analysed between the two groups. Results showed that the happy individuals were younger, with higher income, and with higher education than unhappy ones. After controlling for age, income, and education level, the happy people were found to be more satisfied with personal and national wellbeing domains, of better subjective health status, reported higher trust in people and institutions, and were more engaged in leisure activities and community life than the unhappy ones.
Discourses on Chinese folk happiness are often based on anecdotal narratives or qualitative analysis. A recent study on Chinese folk happiness using qualitative method seems to provide some empirical findings beyond anecdotal evidence on Chinese folk happiness. This paper critically examines the study's constructed image of Chinese folk happiness,…
... 27 Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Happy Canyon of Santa... Areas § 9.217 Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Happy...
Myers, D G
New studies are revealing predictors of subjective well-being, often assessed as self-reported happiness and life satisfaction. Worldwide, most people report being at least moderately happy, regardless of age and gender. As part of their scientific pursuit of happiness, researchers have examined possible associations between happiness and (a) economic growth and personal income, (b) close relationships, and (c) religious faith.
Bollen, Johan; Gonçalves, Bruno; Ruan, Guangchen; Mao, Huina
Online social networking communities may exhibit highly complex and adaptive collective behaviors. Since emotions play such an important role in human decision making, how online networks modulate human collective mood states has become a matter of considerable interest. In spite of the increasing societal importance of online social networks, it is unknown whether assortative mixing of psychological states takes place in situations where social ties are mediated solely by online networking services in the absence of physical contact. Here, we show that the general happiness, or subjective well-being (SWB), of Twitter users, as measured from a 6-month record of their individual tweets, is indeed assortative across the Twitter social network. Our results imply that online social networks may be equally subject to the social mechanisms that cause assortative mixing in real social networks and that such assortative mixing takes place at the level of SWB. Given the increasing prevalence of online social networks, their propensity to connect users with similar levels of SWB may be an important factor in how positive and negative sentiments are maintained and spread through human society. Future research may focus on how event-specific mood states can propagate and influence user behavior in "real life."
Maki, Yoichi; Kawasaki, Yayoi; Demiray, Burcu; Janssen, Steve M J
The present study examined whether the three major functions of autobiographical memory observed in Western societies (i.e., directing-behaviour, social-bonding and self-continuity) also exist in an East Asian society. Two self-report measures were used to assess the autobiographical memory functions of Japanese men and women. Japanese young adults (N = 451, ages 17-28 years) first completed the original Thinking About Life Experiences (TALE) Questionnaire. They subsequently received three TALE items that represented memory functions and attempted to recall a specific instance of memory recall for each item. Confirmatory factor analyses on the TALE showed that the three functions were replicated in the current sample. However, Japanese participants reported lower levels of all three functions than American participants in a previous study. We also explored whether there was an effect of gender in this Japanese sample. Women reported higher levels of the self-continuity and social-bonding functions than men. Finally, participants recalled more specific instances of memory recall for the TALE items that had received higher ratings on the TALE, suggesting that the findings on the first measure were supported by the second measure. Results are discussed in relation to the functional approach to autobiographical memory in a cross-cultural context.
Panadero, Sonia; Guillén, Ana Isabel; Vázquez, José Juan
This article tests a hypothesized model of overall happiness among homeless people in Spain. The research was conducted based on a representative sample of homeless people in Madrid (n = 235), all adults, who had spent the night before the interview in a shelter for homeless people, on the street or in other places not initially designed for sleeping, or who were in supervised accommodation for homeless people at the time of the interview. Information was gathered using a structured interview. The results obtained show that around half of the homeless people in Madrid said that they were happy. A positive meta-stereotype and a better perceived general health were associated with a higher overall happiness, while feelings of loneliness were associated with a lower overall happiness. Happiness also showed a significant effect on future expectations. Disabilities and handicaps had a significant effect on perceived general health, which was in turn associated with overall happiness among homeless people.
Ott, J. C.
There are substantial differences in happiness in nations. Average happiness on scale 0-10 ranges in 2006 from 3.24 in Togo to 8.00 in Denmark and the inequality of happiness, as measured by the standard deviation, ranges from 0.85 in Laos to 3.02 in the Dominican Republic. Much of these differences are due to quality of governance and in…
Sargent, Jesse Q.; Zacks, Jeffrey M.; Hambrick, David Z.; Zacks, Rose T.; Kurby, Christopher A.; Bailey, Heather R.; Eisenberg, Michelle L.; Beck, Taylor M.
Memory for everyday events plays a central role in tasks of daily living, autobiographical memory, and planning. Event memory depends in part on segmenting ongoing activity into meaningful units. This study examined the relationship between event segmentation and memory in a lifespan sample to answer the following question: Is the ability to segment activity into meaningful events a unique predictor of subsequent memory, or is the relationship between event perception and memory accounted for by general cognitive abilities? Two hundred and eight adults ranging from 20 to 79 years old segmented movies of everyday events and attempted to remember the events afterwards. They also completed psychometric ability tests and tests measuring script knowledge for everyday events. Event segmentation and script knowledge both explained unique variance in event memory above and beyond the psychometric measures, and did so as strongly in older as in younger adults. These results suggest that event segmentation is a basic cognitive mechanism, important for memory across the lifespan. PMID:23942350
Bosmans, Guy; Dujardin, Adinda; Raes, Filip; Braet, Caroline
Although autobiographical memory specificity is an important developmental feature fostering adaptation throughout life, little is known about factors related to interindividual differences in autobiographical memory specificity. The current study investigated associations with early adolescents' communication with mother about their experiences…
Pathman, Thanujeni; Larkina, Marina; Burch, Melissa M.; Bauer, Patricia J.
Remembering the temporal information associated with personal past events is critical for autobiographical memory, yet we know relatively little about the development of this capacity. In the present research, we investigated temporal memory for naturally occurring personal events in 4-, 6-, and 8-year-old children. Parents recorded unique events…
Garcia, Danilo; Sikström, Sverker
It may be suggested that the representation of happiness in online media is collective in nature because it is a picture of happiness communicated by relatively few individuals to the masses. The present study is based on articles published in Swedish daily online newspapers in 2010; the data corpus comprises 1.5 million words. We investigated which words were most (un)common in articles containing the word "happiness" as compared with articles not containing this word. The results show that words related to people (by use of all relevant pronouns: you/me and us/them); important others (e.g., grandmother, mother); the Swedish royal wedding (e.g., Prince Daniel, Princess Victoria); and the FIFA World Cup (e.g., Zlatan, Argentina, Drogba) were highly recurrent in articles containing the word happiness. In contrast, words related to objects, such as money (e.g., millions, billions), bestselling gadgets (e.g., iPad, iPhone), and companies (e.g., Google, Windows), were predictive of contexts not recurrent with the word happiness. The results presented here are in accordance with findings in the happiness literature showing that relationships, not material things, are what make people happy. We suggest that our findings mirror a collective theory of happiness, that is, a shared picture or agreement, among members of a community, concerning what makes people happy. The fact that this representation is made public on such a large scale makes it collective in nature.
Ford, Thomas E.; Lappi, Shaun K.; Holden, Christopher J.
The present study examined the relationships between four personality traits, humor styles, and happiness. Replicating previous research, happiness was positively correlated with four personality traits: extraversion, locus of control, self-esteem, and optimism. Further, happiness positively related to self-enhancing and affiliative humor styles; it related negatively to self-defeating and aggressive humor styles. Thus, happy people habitually engage in positive uses of humor and avoid engaging in negative uses of humor in daily life. We also found support for our hypothesis. People high in extraversion, locus of control, self-esteem, and optimism are happier because they engage in positive humor in daily life. PMID:27547251
Dritschel, Barbara; Beltsos, Stamatis; McClintock, Shawn M; Beltosis, Stamatis
There is limited research regarding how executive processes contribute to key cognitive deficits in depression, particularly impoverished retrieval of autobiographical memory. This study tested a novel version of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), the "Alternating Instructions" AMT (AMT-AI), to determine how participants could flexibly retrieve specific and categoric autobiographical memories. The AMT-AI consisted of a standard AMT (AMT-S), a categoric version of the AMT (AMT-R), and a section of alternating instructions (AI) in which the rules required the participant to alternate between retrieval of categoric and specific memories. A total of 49 university students completed the AMT-AI, and self-report measures of depressive symptomatology and ruminative thinking. Results showed that the mean proportion of specific memories recalled on the AMT-AI was significantly lower than on the AMT-S. Also, reduced memory specificity on the AMT-AI, but not the AMT-S, was significantly negatively correlated with increased scores on measures of depressive symptomatology and ruminative thinking. Collectively the data suggested that the AMT-AI, relative to the traditional AMT, may be more sensitive to memory specificity in non-clinical populations. Future research is warranted to further determine the psychometric properties and utility of the AMT-AI.
Hu, Xiaoqing; Bergström, Zara M; Bodenhausen, Galen V; Rosenfeld, J Peter
The present study investigated the extent to which people can suppress unwanted autobiographical memories in a memory-detection context involving a mock crime. Participants encoded sensorimotor-rich memories by enacting a lab-based crime (stealing a ring) and received instructions to suppress memory of the crime in order to evade guilt detection in a brain-wave-based concealed-information test. Aftereffects of suppression on automatic memory processes were measured in an autobiographical Implicit Association Test. Results showed that suppression attenuated brain-wave activity (the P300) associated with crime-relevant memory retrieval, which rendered waveforms from innocent and guilty participants indistinguishable. However, the two groups could nevertheless be discriminated via the late-posterior-negative slow wave, which may reflect the need to monitor response conflict arising between voluntary suppression and automatic recognition processes. Finally, extending recent findings that suppression can impair implicit memory processes, we provide novel evidence that suppression reduces automatic cognitive biases often associated with actual autobiographical memories.
Expedition 32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba wishes Smokey Bear a Happy Birthday. For 68 years Smokey Bear has been promoting fire safety and prevention through the message, âOnly You Can Prevent Wild...
Mitchell, Andrew E. P.
In this study we investigated the relative accessibility of phenomenological characteristics in autobiographical memories of 104 students with and without a previous history of a depression. Participants recalled personal events that were elicited with cue words and then asked to rate these personal events for a number of phenomenological characteristics. The characteristics were typicality, rumination, valence, importance of others, expectancy, desirability, and personal importance. The effects of previous history of depression (without history or with previous history of depression) and self-reported mood (pre- and post-negative mood induction) on autobiographical recall was examined by employing a mixed factor design. Self-reported mood was measured as a manipulation check, before and after Mood Induction Procedure. Typicality, rumination and personal importance showed significant interaction effects in those with a history of depression. Ordinal regression supported the finding that those with a history of depression had a higher chance of typicality and personal importance than those without a history of depression. The results indicate that recall of autobiographical characteristics is in part dependent on induced negative mood state and on previous history of depression. The findings may prompt future research into targeted interventions that reduce individual tendencies for heightened cognitive reactivity in negative mood states for those with a history of depression. PMID:27512528
Goldman, Sylvie; DeNigris, Danielle
Conversations about the past support the development of autobiographical memory. Parents’ strategies to elicit child's participation and recall during past event conversations were compared across three school-age diagnostic groups: autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 11), developmental language disorders (n = 11) and typically developing (TD, n = 11). We focused on the prevalence of directives versus enrichment of events. Groups did not differ in number of events, length, and total turns. However, parents of children with ASD produced more direct questions, corrections, and unrelated turns than parents of TD children. Results highlight how parents adjusted their conversational style to their child's communication difficulties to maximize interactions and how these strategies may affect the development of personal conversations. PMID:25312278
Goldman, Sylvie; DeNigris, Danielle
Conversations about the past support the development of autobiographical memory. Parents' strategies to elicit child's participation and recall during past event conversations were compared across three school-age diagnostic groups: autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 11), developmental language disorders (n = 11) and typically developing (TD, n = 11). We focused on the prevalence of directives versus enrichment of events. Groups did not differ in number of events, length, and total turns. However, parents of children with ASD produced more direct questions, corrections, and unrelated turns than parents of TD children. Results highlight how parents adjusted their conversational style to their child's communication difficulties to maximize interactions and how these strategies may affect the development of personal conversations.
Wood, Patricia F.
The enigmatic author Lemony Snicket is quick to establish from the start that happy events are not to be expected in his collection, "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Every happy event in the lives of the three clever and charming Baudelaire children is countered with an even more unfortunate one, events rife with misery, misfortune, and despair.…
Learning a second language involves the development of an identity in the target language. This study is an autobiographical narrative inquiry into the issue of identity in a foreign language. Autobiographical accounts of my relationship with, and my feelings about, English at different stages in my learning journey are developed to show how my…
Valentino, Kristin; Nuttall, Amy K.; Comas, Michelle; McDonnell, Christina G.; Piper, Brianna; Thomas, Taylor E.; Fanuele, Suzanne
Overgeneral memory (OGM) refers to difficulty in retrieving specific autobiographical memories. The tendency to be overgeneral in autobiographical memory recall is more commonly observed among individuals with emotional disorders compared with those without. Despite significant advances in theory and identification of mechanisms that underlie the…
Gidron, Yori; Alon, Shirly
This preliminary study integrated previous findings of the distribution of autobiographical memories in the later age according to their age of occurrence, with the overgeneral memory bias predictive of depression. Twenty-five non-demented, Israeli participants between 65-89 years of age provided autobiographical memories to 4 groups of word cues…
Kleim, Birgit; Ehlers, Anke
In this prospective longitudinal study, the authors examined the relationship between reduced specificity in autobiographical memory retrieval and the development of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and specific phobia after injury in an assault. Assault survivors (N = 203) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (J. M. G.…
Autobiographical remembering reflects an advanced state of consciousness that mediates awareness of the self as continuous across time. In naturalistic autobiographical memory, self-aware recollection of temporally and spatially specific episodes and generic factual information (both public and personal) operate in tandem. Evidence from both…
In his article, Chris Burt focuses on the relationship between time and autobiographical memory. The question Burt puts forward is whether temporal markers in reports on autobiographic memories reflect specific temporal information or result from rather complex cognitive processing of time-relevant knowledge. The aspect of time is inherent to the…
Griffith, James W.; Kleim, Birgit; Sumner, Jennifer A.; Ehlers, Anke
The objective of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), which is widely used to measure overgeneral autobiographical memory in individuals with depression and a trauma history. Its factor structure and internal consistency have not been explored in a clinical sample. This study examined the…
Al-Namlah, Abdulrahman S.; Meins, Elizabeth; Fernyhough, Charles
We investigated relations between 4- and 7-year-olds' (N=58) autobiographical memory and their use of self-regulatory private speech in a non-mnemonic context (a cognitive planning task). Children's use of self-regulatory private speech during the planning task was associated with longer autobiographical narratives which included specific rather…
Fivush, Robyn; Habermas, Tilmann; Waters, Theodore E A; Zaman, Widaad
Autobiographical memory is a uniquely human form of memory that integrates individual experiences of self with cultural frames for understanding identities and lives. In this review, we present a theoretical and empirical overview of the sociocultural development of autobiographical memory, detailing the emergence of autobiographical memory during the preschool years and the formation of a life narrative during adolescence. More specifically, we present evidence that individual differences in parental reminiscing style are related to children's developing autobiographical narratives. Parents who structure more elaborated coherent personal narratives with their young children have children who, by the end of the preschool years, provide more detailed and coherent personal narratives, and show a more differentiated and coherent sense of self. Narrative structuring of autobiographical remembering follows a protracted developmental course through adolescence, as individuals develop social cognitive skills for temporal understanding and causal reasoning that allows autobiographical memories to be integrated into an overarching life narrative that defines emerging identity. In addition, adolescents begin to use culturally available canonical biographical forms, life scripts, and master narratives to construct a life story and inform their own autobiographical narrative identity. This process continues to be socially constructed in local interactions; we present exploratory evidence that parents help adolescents structure life narratives during coconstructed reminiscing and that adolescents use parents and families as a source for their own autobiographical content and structure. Ultimately, we argue that autobiography is a critical developmental skill; narrating our personal past connects us to our selves, our families, our communities, and our cultures.
Howard, Diane Elizabeth; Trejo, Natalia
Presenting autobiographical stories from Hispanic culture and history, especially the stories of fascinating, historic role models can be beneficial, educational, therapeutic, and empowering for presenters and audiences. This paper is divided into two sections. Section (1) discusses in detail presenting such autobiographical stories and how to…
This paper explores the auto/biographicity of ethnographic research, describing the way in which our research pursuits can be seen as the replaying of past agendas. It looks specifically at the auto/biographic interview as part of the ethnographic data collected, positing it as the site of co-construction of new memory, and the re-enactment of…
Lapadat, Judith C.
From her experience as an instructor, the author finds that it is valuable to engage graduate students in conducting a study within their qualitative methods course. In this article, the author discusses how she used a collaborative autobiographical research approach. Class members generate autobiographical writing to be shared with the group, and…
Dalgleish, Tim; Golden, Ann-Marie J.; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Au Yeung, Cecilia; Murphy, Victoria; Tchanturia, Kate; Williams, J. Mark G.; Perkins, Nicola; Barnard, Phillip J.; Elward, Rachael; Watkins, Edward
It has been widely established that depressed mood states and clinical depression, as well as a range of other psychiatric disorders, are associated with a relative difficulty in accessing specific autobiographical information in response to emotion-related cue words on an Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; J. M. G. Williams & K. Broadbent, 1986).…
Background This study aims to understand which young adults’ drinking behaviors change in the presence of happy hour specials, the ways in which they change, and whether a link exists between happy hour drinking behavior and negative outcomes. Methods Using data collected from bar-going respondents (n = 1,423) within a print survey administered to a general college sample (n = 2,349), we identify significant differences in changes in happy hour behavior between demographic groups using χ2 tests and determine whether this behavior is related to six negative alcohol-related outcomes using logistical and ordinary least squares regression models with a variety of controls, including age of onset and frequency of use. Results Women, students under 21, non-athletes, members of Greek-affiliated organizations, more affluent and unemployed students, and students living on campus were more likely to change their drinking behavior in the presence of happy hour specials. In general, the most robust predictors of negative events are gender, alcohol use frequency, age of alcohol use onset, and increasing drinking due to happy hours/bar specials. While it was linked to various negative and illegal behaviors, altered happy hour drinking was not associated with an increased likelihood of an alcohol-related arrest. Conclusions This study lends support to the idea that alcohol price specials should be regulated in an effort to reduce high consumption and alcohol-related negative consequences. Future research into the relationship between happy hour drinking and negative outcomes is necessary and should examine the impact of happy hour advertisements, different types of specials, and the timing of happy hours. PMID:24758616
Zhang, Wei; Li, Xiao; Shen, Dehua; Teglio, Andrea
In this paper, we examine the relations between the daily happiness sentiment extracted from Twitter and the stock market performance in 11 international stock markets. By partitioning this happiness sentiment into quintiles from the least to the happiest days, we first show that the contemporary correlation coefficients between happiness sentiment and index return in the 4 and most-happiness subgroups are higher than that in least, 2 and 3-happiness subgroups. Secondly, the happiness sentiment can provide additional explanatory power for index return in the most-happiness subgroup. Thirdly, the daily happiness can granger-cause the changes in index return for the majority of stock markets. Fourthly, we find that the index return and the range-based volatility of the most-happiness subgroup are larger than those of other subgroups. These results highlight the important role of social media in stock market.
Huntjens, Rafaële J. C.; Verschuere, Bruno; McNally, Richard J.
Background A major symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID; formerly Multiple Personality Disorder) is dissociative amnesia, the inability to recall important personal information. Only two case studies have directly addressed autobiographical memory in DID. Both provided evidence suggestive of dissociative amnesia. The aim of the current study was to objectively assess transfer of autobiographical information between identities in a larger sample of DID patients. Methods Using a concealed information task, we assessed recognition of autobiographical details in an amnesic identity. Eleven DID patients, 27 normal controls, and 23 controls simulating DID participated. Controls and simulators were matched to patients on age, education level, and type of autobiographical memory tested. Findings Although patients subjectively reported amnesia for the autobiographical details included in the task, the results indicated transfer of information between identities. Conclusion The results call for a revision of the DID definition. The amnesia criterion should be modified to emphasize its subjective nature. PMID:22815769
Griffith, James W; Sumner, Jennifer A; Raes, Filip; Barnhofer, Thorsten; Debeer, Elise; Hermans, Dirk
Autobiographical memory is a multifaceted construct that is related to psychopathology and other difficulties in functioning. Across many studies, a variety of methods have been used to study autobiographical memory. The relationship between overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) and psychopathology has been of particular interest, and many studies of this cognitive phenomenon rely on the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) to assess it. In this paper, we examine several methodological approaches to studying autobiographical memory, and focus primarily on methodological and psychometric considerations in OGM research. We pay particular attention to what is known about the reliability, validity, and methodological variations of the AMT. The AMT has adequate psychometric properties, but there is great variability in methodology across studies that use it. Methodological recommendations and suggestions for future studies are presented.
Heizomi, Haleh; Allahverdipour, Hamid; Asghari Jafarabadi, Mohammad; Safaian, Abdolrasul
In the present decade, adolescents' mental problems are known as critical problems which have many destructive consequences. This study aimed to measure students' happiness and psychological well-being status in a sample of high school students. The cross sectional study consisted of 403 randomly selected high school students in Tabriz, Iran. Numerous variables including general health status, happiness, self-efficacy, perceived stress, hopefulness and life satisfaction were measured by using self-reported written questionnaires. Significant relation observed between happiness and psychological well-being (r=0.48). Those students with good relationship and those who had reported to enjoy attending social events indicated better mental health status. No causal inferences were investigated due to the non-experimental nature of the study. The findings also revealed that students with higher happiness score have a better school performance. Integration of happiness promotion initiatives into the comprehensive school health programs is recommended to have pleasant environments for a healthy population of adolescents.
Scoffham, Stephen; Barnes, Jonathan
The role of the emotions in learning has long been acknowledged but is often overlooked. This article considers the impact one particular emotion, happiness, has on learning and the school curriculum. Recent reports have drawn attention to the importance of happiness (or the lack of it) by highlighting concerns about childhood well-being. At the…
Ramírez de Arellano, Annette B
This historical note examines Puerto Rico's pioneering role in the development of happiness studies. In 1963-64, the Puerto Health Department's Master Sample Survey included a series of questions on well-being to tap into self-assessed happiness. The study found that happiness was positively correlated with income, education, and health. It also found that women were less happy than men, and that well-being was negatively correlated with age. Since then, the metrics of happiness have gained currency, and several countries have adopted indices to measure their population's self-perceived well-being. Studies have also documented the reciprocal relationship between health and happiness.
San Martín, Jesús; Perles, Fabiola; Canto, Jesús María
The aim of this essay has been the evaluation of three orientations towards happiness: pleasure, meaning and engagement, as well as their relation to life satisfaction and the perception of happiness in a sample of 320 university students. The results show that the most used kind of orientation towards happiness is pleasure, followed by meaning, and finally engagement. It has also been found that pleasure is the orientation most closely associated to happiness while engagement seems to be more related to life satisfaction. These findings aim to the distinction between the concepts of happiness and life satisfaction and lead the attention to the actions which can improve the levels of happiness.
Chen, Hung-Yu; Gilmore, Adrian W; Nelson, Steven M; McDermott, Kathleen B
What brain regions underlie retrieval from episodic memory? The bulk of research addressing this question with fMRI has relied upon recognition memory for materials encoded within the laboratory. Another, less dominant tradition has used autobiographical methods, whereby people recall events from their lifetime, often after being cued with words or pictures. The current study addresses how the neural substrates of successful memory retrieval differed as a function of the targeted memory when the experimental parameters were held constant in the two conditions (except for instructions). Human participants studied a set of scenes and then took two types of memory test while undergoing fMRI scanning. In one condition (the picture memory test), participants reported for each scene (32 studied, 64 nonstudied) whether it was recollected from the prior study episode. In a second condition (the life memory test), participants reported for each scene (32 studied, 64 nonstudied) whether it reminded them of a specific event from their preexperimental lifetime. An examination of successful retrieval (yes responses) for recently studied scenes for the two test types revealed pronounced differences; that is, autobiographical retrieval instantiated with the life memory test preferentially activated the default mode network, whereas hits in the picture memory test preferentially engaged the parietal memory network as well as portions of the frontoparietal control network. When experimental cueing parameters are held constant, the neural underpinnings of successful memory retrieval differ when remembering life events and recently learned events.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Episodic memory is often discussed as a solitary construct. However, experimental traditions examining episodic memory use very different approaches, and these are rarely compared to one another. When the neural correlates associated with each approach have been directly contrasted, results have varied considerably and
Chan, Paula E.
Teachers face the challenging job of differentiating instruction for the diverse needs of their students. This task is difficult enough with happy students who are eager to learn; unfortunately students often enter the classroom in a bad mood because of events that happened outside the classroom walls. These events--called setting events--can…
Otake, Keiko; Shimai, Satoshi; Tanaka-Matsumi, Junko; Otsui, Kanako; Fredrickson, Barbara L
We examined the relationship between the character strength of kindness and subjective happiness (Study 1), and the effects of a counting kindnesses intervention on subjective happiness (Study 2). In Study 1, participants were 175 Japanese undergraduate students and in Study 2, participants were 119 Japanese women (71 in the intervention group and 48 in the control group). Results showed that: (a) Happy people scored higher on their motivation to perform, and their recognition and enactment of kind behaviors. (b) Happy people have more happy memories in daily life in terms of both quantity and quality. (c) Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one's own acts of kindness for one week. (d) Happy people became more kind and grateful through the counting kindnesses intervention. Discussion centers on the importance of kindness in producing subjective happiness.
Keller, Sarah; Mangold, Max
Focuses on the concept of happiness as neither formed independent from economic considerations, nor is it foreign to them. Argues that in the history of pedagogy and economics, happiness constitutes an important and at times a problematic quality. (CAJ)
Tranel, Daniel; Duff, Melissa; Rudrauf, David
Functional neuroimaging studies have implicated the default mode network (DMN) in autobiographical memory (AM). Convergent evidence from a lesion approach would help clarify the role of the DMN in AM. In this study, we used a voxelwise lesion-deficit approach to test the hypothesis that regions of the DMN are necessary for AM. We also explored whether the neural correlates of semantic AM (SAM) and episodic AM (EAM) were overlapping or distinct. Using the Iowa Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire, we tested AM retrieval in 92 patients with focal, stable brain lesions. In support of our hypothesis, damage to regions within the DMN (medial prefrontal cortex, mPFC; posterior cingulate cortex, PCC; inferior parietal lobule, IPL; medial temporal lobe, MTL) was associated with AM impairments. Within areas of effective lesion coverage, the neural correlates of SAM and EAM were largely distinct, with limited areas of overlap in right IPL. Whereas SAM deficits were associated with left mPFC and MTL damage, EAM deficits were associated with right mPFC and MTL damage. These results provide novel neuropsychological evidence for the necessary role of parts of the DMN in AM. More broadly, the findings shed new light on how the DMN participates in self-referential processing. PMID:24795444
Bunnell, Sarah L; Greenhoot, Andrea Follmer
Two studies were conducted to explore the conditions that elicit autobiographical memory problems in abuse victims and the mechanism that underlie them. In Study 1 older adolescents (n=80) with and without self-reported abuse histories completed a modified version of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT-U); participants were given an unlimited amount of time to provide specific memories in response to cue words. Participants also completed measures of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), working memory, and attentional biases. This study found that abuse severity and PTSD symptoms were positively related to memory specificity on the AMT-U. In Study 2 older adolescents (n=78) with and without self-reported abuse histories completed the traditional (timed) version of the AMT. Participants also completed measures of working memory, attentional biases, self-reported coping, and psychopathological symptoms (i.e., depression and PTSD). In this study the opposite relationship was observed, such that abuse severity was related to poorer memory specificity, but this relationship was explained by disengagement coping and PTSD symptoms. This work suggests that poor memory specificity may represent a form of avoidance, but the application of avoidant mechanisms depends on the remembering context.
Sumner, Jennifer A; Mineka, Susan; Zinbarg, Richard E; Craske, Michelle G; Vrshek-Schallhorn, Suzanne; Epstein, Alyssa
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is a proposed trait-marker for vulnerability to depression, but relatively little work has examined its long-term stability. This study investigated the stability of OGM over several years in 271 late adolescents and young adults participating in a larger longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders. The Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) was administered twice, with test-retest intervals ranging from approximately 3 to 6 years. There was evidence of significant but modest stability in OGM over several years. Specifically, Spearman rank correlations (ρs) between the proportions of specific and categoric memories generated on the two AMTs were .31 and .32, respectively. We did not find evidence that the stability of OGM was moderated by the length of the test-retest interval. Furthermore, the stability coefficients for OGM for individuals with and without a lifetime history of major depressive disorder (MDD) were relatively similar in magnitude and not significantly different from one another (ρs=.34 and .42 for the proportions of specific and categoric memories for those with a history of MDD; ρs=.31 for both the proportions of specific and categoric memories for those without a history of MDD). Implications for the conceptualisation of OGM are discussed.
Yue, Xiao D; Leung, Chun-Lok; Hiranandani, Neelam A
Playfulness has been referred to as a disposition that involves reframing a situation to amuse others and to make the situation more stimulating and enjoyable. It may serve to shift one's perspective when dealing with environmental threats. Despite all the benefits of playfulness towards psychological well-being, it remains a largely understudied subject in psychology, particularly in Chinese societies. Hence, this study examined the association between adult playfulness, humor styles, and subjective happiness among a sample of 166 university students in Hong Kong and 159 students in Guangzhou, who completed a self-administered questionnaire, including the Short Measure for Adult Playfulness, the Chinese Humor Styles Questionnaire, and the Subjective Happiness Scale. Results showed that adult playfulness was positively correlated with affiliative humor, self-enhancing humor, and subjective happiness in both Hong Kong and Guangzhou samples. By its implication, highly playful Chinese students preferred using affiliative and self-enhancing humor to amuse themselves and others.
Berna, Fabrice; Potheegadoo, Jevita; Aouadi, Ismail; Ricarte, Jorge Javier; Allé, Mélissa C.; Coutelle, Romain; Boyer, Laurent; Cuervo-Lombard, Christine Vanessa; Danion, Jean-Marie
Meta-analyses and reviews on cognitive disorders in schizophrenia have shown that the most robust and common cognitive deficits are found in episodic memory and executive functions. More complex memory domains, such as autobiographical memory (AM), are also impaired in schizophrenia, but such impairments are reported less often despite their negative impact on patients’ outcome. In contrast to episodic memory, assessed in laboratory tasks, memories of past personal events are much more complex and directly relate to the self. The meta-analysis included 20 studies, 571 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, and 503 comparison subjects. It found moderate-to-large effect sizes with regard to the 3 parameters commonly used to assess AM: memory specificity (g = −0.97), richness of detail (g = −1.40), and conscious recollection (g = −0.62). These effect sizes were in the same range as those found in other memory domains in schizophrenia; for this reason, we propose that defective memories of personal past events should be regarded as a major cognitive impairment in this illness. PMID:26209548
Berna, Fabrice; Potheegadoo, Jevita; Aouadi, Ismail; Ricarte, Jorge Javier; Allé, Mélissa C; Coutelle, Romain; Boyer, Laurent; Cuervo-Lombard, Christine Vanessa; Danion, Jean-Marie
Meta-analyses and reviews on cognitive disorders in schizophrenia have shown that the most robust and common cognitive deficits are found in episodic memory and executive functions. More complex memory domains, such as autobiographical memory (AM), are also impaired in schizophrenia, but such impairments are reported less often despite their negative impact on patients' outcome. In contrast to episodic memory, assessed in laboratory tasks, memories of past personal events are much more complex and directly relate to the self. The meta-analysis included 20 studies, 571 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, and 503 comparison subjects. It found moderate-to-large effect sizes with regard to the 3 parameters commonly used to assess AM: memory specificity (g = -0.97), richness of detail (g = -1.40), and conscious recollection (g = -0.62). These effect sizes were in the same range as those found in other memory domains in schizophrenia; for this reason, we propose that defective memories of personal past events should be regarded as a major cognitive impairment in this illness.
Hodges, Steve; Berry, Emma; Wood, Ken
SenseCam is a wearable digital camera that captures an electronic record of the wearer's day. It does this by automatically recording a series of still images through its wide-angle lens, and simultaneously capturing a log of data from a number of built-in electronic sensors. Subsequently reviewing a sequence of images appears to provide a powerful autobiographical memory cue. A preliminary evaluation of SenseCam with a patient diagnosed with severe memory impairment was extremely positive; periodic review of images of events recorded by SenseCam resulted in significant recall of those events. Following this, a great deal of work has been undertaken to explore this phenomenon and there are early indications that SenseCam technology may be beneficial to a variety of patients with physical and mental health problems, and is valuable as a tool for investigating normal memory through behavioural and neuroimaging means. Elsewhere, it is becoming clear that judicious use of SenseCam could significantly impact the study of human behaviour. Meanwhile, research and development of the technology itself continues with the aim of providing robust hardware and software tools to meet the needs of clinicians, patients, carers, and researchers. In this paper we describe the history of SenseCam, and the design and operation of the SenseCam device and the associated viewing software, and we discuss some of the ongoing research questions being addressed with the help of SenseCam.
Schütz, Erica; Sailer, Uta; Al Nima, Ali; Rosenberg, Patricia; Andersson Arntén, Ann-Christine; Archer, Trevor; Garcia, Danilo
Background. The affective profiles model categorizes individuals as self-fulfilling (high positive affect, low negative affect), high affective (high positive affect, high negative affect), low affective (low positive affect, low negative affect), and self-destructive (low positive affect, high negative affect). The model has been used extensively among Swedes to discern differences between profiles regarding happiness, depression, and also life satisfaction. The aim of the present study was to investigate such differences in a sample of residents of the USA. The study also investigated differences between profiles with regard to happiness-increasing strategies. Methods. In Study I, 900 participants reported affect (Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule; PANAS) and happiness (Happiness-Depression Scale). In Study II, 500 participants self-reported affect (PANAS), life satisfaction (Satisfaction With Life Scale), and how often they used specific strategies to increase their own happiness (Happiness-Increasing Strategies Scales). Results. The results showed that, compared to the other profiles, self-fulfilling individuals were less depressed, happier, and more satisfied with their lives. Nevertheless, self-destructive individuals were more depressed, unhappier, and less satisfied than all other profiles. The self-fulfilling individuals tended to use strategies related to agentic (e.g., instrumental goal-pursuit), communal (e.g., social affiliation), and spiritual (e.g., religion) values when pursuing happiness. Conclusion. These differences suggest that promoting positive emotions can positively influence a depressive-to-happy state as well as increasing life satisfaction. Moreover, the present study shows that pursuing happiness through strategies guided by agency, communion, and spirituality is related to a self-fulfilling experience described as high positive affect and low negative affect.
The Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky and Lepper, "Social Indicators Research," 46, 137-155, 1999) is a brief measure for assessing subjective happiness. The reliability and validity of the Malay version of the Subjective Happiness Scale was investigated in a community sample of 290 Chinese and 227 Malays in Malaysia. Results…
Balish, Shea M.; Conacher, Dan; Dithurbide, Lori
Purpose: Preliminary findings suggest sport participation is positively associated with happiness. However, it is unknown if this association is universal and how sport compares to other leisure activities in terms of an association with happiness. This study had 3 objectives: (a) to test if sport membership is associated with happiness, (b) to…
This article discusses relations between happiness and higher education in the age of information, focusing on the need for the university to pursue happiness. Three questions are addressed. First, why should higher education pursue happiness? Second, what are the shapes and characteristics of higher education in the information age? Third, what…
Norrish, Jacolyn M.; Vella-Brodrick, Dianne A.
This paper critiques the view that the study of happiness is not a worthy scientific pursuit. The happiness set point and hedonic treadmill theories denote the complexity of increasing happiness levels due to genetic limitations and adaptation, however, there is mounting evidence to suggest that with the use of appropriate measures and specific…
Sumner, Jennifer A; Mineka, Susan; McAdams, Dan P
Reduced autobiographical memory specificity (AMS) is an important cognitive marker in depression that is typically measured with the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986). The AMT is widely used, but the over-reliance on a single methodology for assessing AMS is a limitation in the field. The current study investigated memory narratives as an alternative measure of AMS in an undergraduate student sample selected for being high or low on a measure of depressive symptoms (N=55). We employed a multi-method design to compare narrative- and AMT-based measures of AMS. Participants generated personally significant self-defining memory narratives, and also completed two versions of the AMT (with and without instructions to retrieve specific memories). Greater AMS in self-defining memory narratives correlated with greater AMS in performance on both versions of the AMT in the full sample, and the patterns of relationships between the different AMS measures were generally similar in low and high dysphoric participants. Furthermore, AMS in self-defining memory narratives was prospectively associated with depressive symptom levels. Specifically, greater AMS in self-defining memory narratives predicted fewer depressive symptoms at a 10-week follow-up over and above baseline symptom levels. Implications for future research and clinical applications are discussed.
Moghnie, Lamia; Kazarian, Shahe S.
The present study evaluated the subjective happiness of Lebanese college youth using a multi-item rather than a single-item subjective happiness measure. An Arabic translation of the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) was administered to 273 Lebanese college youth from state- and private-run higher institutions of learning, as was the Arabic Adult…
Hemati, Zeinab; Mosavi Asl, Fatemeh-Sadat; Abbasi, Samira; Ghazavi, Zohre; Kiani, Davood
Introduction: Facial deformities and aesthetic and functional anomalies in children may be a cause of real distress in families. Problems faced by parents in coping with a child’s anomaly can be upsetting and lead parents to exhibit over-severe behavior. The present study was conducted in order to study the effect of happiness program on the happiness of the mothers of children with a cleft lip and palate. Materials and Methods: In this semi-experimental study, 64 mothers of children with a cleft lip and palate enrolled by convenience random sampling were assigned to an intervention or control group based on a simple random sampling. Then, a program of happiness training was implemented consisting of 10 sessions of 2 hours each. A demographic questionnaire and the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire were completed prior to and 2 months after the last session of intervention. The data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistics, consisting of a paired t-test, independent t-test and Chi-square test using SPSS version 20. Results: The independent t-test indicated a significant difference in mean happiness score after training between the intervention and control groups (P<0.05). Moreover, the paired t-test indicated a significant difference in mean happiness score between before and after training in the intervention group, although the difference was not statistically significant for the control group (P>0.05). Conclusion: In light of the efficacy of happiness training on the promotion of happiness in the mothers of children with a cleft lip and palate, this model is recommended as a healthcare intervention to decrease stress in mothers following the birth of an infant with a cleft lip and palate. PMID:28008390
Kaufman, Gayle; Taniguchi, Hiromi
In this study, the authors examine the effect of gender ideology on marital happiness in later life. Studies of marital satisfaction in later life have tended to neglect such attitudes, although they have received increasing attention in the literature on younger marriages. The authors use data from married individuals who range in age from 51 to…
Flynn, Deborah M.; MacLeod, Stephanie
This study explored the relationship between happiness, and six other life domains: Academic Success, Financial Security, Familial Support, Living Environment, Self-Image and Social Relations. Participants were one hundred and ninety- two students from a small undergraduate university. The purpose of the study was to determine which life domain…
... good, positive emotions do good things for our brains and bodies. They lower stress hormones, help ease anxiety and depression, and improve our immune system. Feeling some positive emotions every day has a big effect on our happiness and well-being. That's why ...
In December 2009, the author traveled to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan for a week-long workshop, "Educating for Gross National Happiness." At the invitation of the royal government, international participants joined with local teachers, principals, and students to discover ways that Bhutanese schools could better support the country's…
Reviews D. G. Myers' (2000) examination of the contributing factors of happiness: money, relationships, and religion. Discusses the implications of these factors for counseling with specific recommendations made for counselors regarding their own self-care and their work with their clients. (GCP)
Discusses changes in the history of childhood. Argues that the change was not caused by reform pedagogics, but by a movement to popular culture. Describes the functioning of a commercialized children's culture and its definition of happiness. Analyzes possible concepts of education within the framework of such learning environments. (CAJ)
Kehle, Thomas J.; Bray, Melissa A.
The acronym RICH stands for resources, intimacy, competence, and health. These characteristics are purported to define psychological health, which is assumed to be synonymous with happiness. The four characteristics encompass all possible reinforcers, are relatively obtainable by all individuals, are interrelated to the extent they incorporate…
Olsson, Lars E.; Garling, Tommy; Ettema, Dick; Friman, Margareta; Fujii, Satoshi
Research suggests that for many people happiness is being able to make the routines of everyday life work, such that positive feelings dominate over negative feelings resulting from daily hassles. In line with this, a survey of work commuters in the three largest urban areas of Sweden show that satisfaction with the work commute contributes to…
The happy victimiser phenomenon has puzzled many researchers in the field of moral development. After having learnt and internalised what is morally right and wrong, young children tend to attribute positive feelings to observed models of their age who explicitly harm other children. This has been mainly explained as a lack of moral motivation or…
The concept of well-being has become part of the Government's agenda, with reports and books suggesting that happiness can be manipulated and that it is in the political interest to promote it. This instrumental view of well-being is examined in the light of children's experiences and their comments on them. These representative attitudes are…
The intricacies of Newton's Cradle are well covered in the literature going as far back as the time of Newton! These discussions generally center on the highly elastic collisions of metal spheres. Thanks to the invention of happy and unhappy balls, you can build and study the interaction of less elastic systems (see Fig. 1).
Yue, Xiao Dong; Liu, Katy Wing-Yin; Jiang, Feng; Hiranandani, Neelam Arjan
Summary.-This study examined how humor styles could mediate the effect of self-esteem on subjective happiness. 227 Hong Kong undergraduate students completed the Humor Styles Questionnaire, the Roxsenberg Self-esteem Scale, and the Subjective Happiness Scale. Results showed adaptive humor styles (affiliative humor and self-enhancing humor) significantly predicted self-esteem and subjective happiness and mediated the relationship between self-esteem and subjective happiness. Maladaptive humor styles (aggressive humor and self-defeating humor) did not strongly predict self-esteem or subjective happiness. The mediation effects of humor styles found in the present research provided useful suggestions for future studies.
El Haj, Mohamad; Antoine, Pascal
This paper investigated whether Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients may demonstrate a discrepancy between subjective autobiographical reliving and objective recall. To this end, 31 AD patients and 35 controls were asked to retrieve three autobiographical memories. For each memory, participants were asked to rate its subjective characteristics (e.g., reliving, travel in time, visual imagery…). Besides this subjective assessment, we analyzed recall objectively with regard to specificity. Results showed poorer subjective autobiographical reliving and objective recall in AD patients than in controls. A discrepancy (i.e., higher level of subjective reliving than of objective recall) was observed in AD but not in control participants. Despite a compromise in their objective recall, AD patients seemed to attribute a high value to their subjective autobiographical experience. This discrepancy can be attributed to a potential genuine consciousness experience in which mild AD patients can, to some extent, experience some subjective features of the past.
Participants were presented with target words on two occasions, and were asked each time to generate a memory of a past episode associated with the targets. Participants were also instructed to rate the importance (significance elaboration) or pleasantness of the pisode (pleasantness elaboration) in an orienting task, followed by an unexpect d recall test. Significance elaboration led to better recall than pleasantness elaboration, but only in the spaced presentation. The spaced presentation led to better tree recall than massed presentation with significance elaboration, but the difference between the two types of presentation was not observed with pleasantness elaboration. These results suggest that the significance of an episode is more critical than the pleasantness of an episode in determining the effectiveness of autobiographical elaboration in facilitating recall.
Martin, Maryanne; Jones, Gregory V
Studies of autobiographical memory have shown that observed levels of incidental learning are often relatively low. Do low levels of retention result simply from a low learning rate, or is learning also asymptotic? To address this question, it is necessary to trace performance over a large number of learning opportunities, and this was carried out in the context of the recent development of widespread texting behaviour. It was found that memory for the alphanumeric layout of a phone improved as a function of sending approximately the first 500 texts, but then the improvement stopped. The incidence of memory error was incompatible with a simple power-law relation but was modelled closely by an asymptotic relation. It is suggested that this pattern reflects a movement towards automaticity in the primary task which progressively closes down the possibility that incidental learning can occur.
In their journey through life, most people are looking for happiness. Definitions of happiness and the concepts of a pleasant, good, meaningful, and a full life are reviewed. Next, Seligman's (2002) concept of "authentic happiness" and a happiness formula, S+C+V (Set + Circumstances + Variables), are discussed. An integration of happiness, as a goal, and hypnosis, as a facilitative approach, are presented. Hypnotic techniques with case examples are given. Hypnosis is presented as an efficient companion intervention to work on these variables in a creative way and to pave the way to a happy and full life. The following results are presented: (1) hypnosis allows for increased executive attention with control of emotions, (2) focusing on positive imagery contributes to strengthening "happy pathways," and (3) emotions about the past, present, and future are subject to change.
Chacon, Hugo Alejandro
This qualitative study explores the journey of a Latino educator in becoming a bilingual high school science teacher and university professor. It focuses on discovering how the practice of teaching and learning is shaped through social, psychological, and cultural factors. Through the use of an autobiographical method known as currere, the researcher recounts personal and educational experiences that address important issues in education related to language, science, culture, and social class through the perspective of one doing the work. The study reviews the literature on autobiographical forms of research in the field of education and suggests how autobiography in education, an emerging genre, holds the promise for creating new meanings of the self while at the same time attempts to develop a theory of autobiography that acknowledges the importance of people of color and other marginalized groups. Data collected include 22 hours of audiotaped recordings, conversations, and educational artifacts including notes from innovative classroom projects, lesson plans, conference presentations, computer files, graduate coursework, classroom videotaping, university course evaluations, and department memos. Findings of this study revealed that: (a) the process of becoming a transformative educator involves critical self-reflection on one's cultural/ethnic identity and linguistic heritage; (b) the importance of self-reflection on one's teaching is a critical component in moving towards a more culturally and linguistically responsive curriculum; (c) the bilingual educator can achieve a greater understanding of the important role in the maintenance, implementation, and promotion of minority language education through a reflective practice; and (d) the development of the underrepresented voice in education and the awakening to one's personal and philosophical worldviews is as important as the preparation one receives in becoming a bilingual teacher.
Jones, Lara L; Norville, Gregory A; Wright, A Michelle
Across two studies, we investigated the influence of narcissism and self-esteem along with gender on phenomenological ratings across the four subscales of the Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire (AMQ; impact, recollection, rehearsal, and belief). Memory cues varied in valence (positive vs. negative) and agency (agentic vs. communal). In Study 2, we used different memory cues reflecting these four Valence by Agency conditions and additionally investigated retrieval times for the autobiographical memories (AMs). Results were consistent with the agency model of narcissism [Campbell, W. K., Brunell, A. B., & Finkel, E. J. (2006). Narcissism, interpersonal self-regulation, and romantic relationships: An agency model approach. In E. J. Finkel & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Self and relationships: Connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. New York, NY: Guilford], which characterises narcissists as being more concerned with agentic (self-focused) rather than communal (other-focused) positive self-relevant information. Narcissism predicted greater phenomenology across the four subscales for the positive-agentic memories (Study 1: clever; Study 2: attractive, talented) as well as faster memory retrieval times. Narcissism also predicted greater recollection and faster retrieval times for the negative-communal AMs (Study 1: rude; Study 2: annoying, dishonest). In contrast, self-esteem predicted greater phenomenology and faster retrieval times for the positive-communal AMs (Study 1: cooperative; Study 2: romantic, sympathetic). In both studies, results of LIWC analyses further differentiated between narcissism and self-esteem in the content (word usage) of the AMs.
Wammes, Jeffrey D; Good, Tyler J; Fernandes, Myra A
Those who have suffered a concussion, otherwise known as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), often complain of lingering memory problems. However, there is little evidence in the behavioral literature reliably demonstrating memory deficits. Thus, in the present study, cognitive profiles including measures of general executive functioning and processing speed, as well as episodic and semantic memory were collected in younger and older adult participants with or without a remote (>1year prior to testing) mTBI. We first investigated whether there were observable episodic and autobiographical memory impairments associated with mTBI within an otherwise healthy young group. Next, because previous work had demonstrated some overlap in patterns of behavioral impairment in normally aging adults and younger adults with a history of mTBI (e.g. Ozen, Fernandes, Clark, & Roy, 2015), we sought to determine whether these groups displayed similar cognitive profiles. Lastly, we conducted an exploratory analysis to test whether having suffered an mTBI might exacerbate age-related cognitive decline. Results showed the expected age-related decline in episodic memory performance, coupled with a relative preservation of semantic memory in older adults. Importantly, this pattern was also present in younger adults with a history of remote mTBI. No differences were observed across older adult groups based on mTBI status. Logistic regression analyses, using each measure in our battery as a predictor, successfully classified mTBI status in younger participants with a high degree of specificity (79.5%). These results indicate that those who have had an mTBI demonstrate a distinct cognitive signature, characterized by impairment in episodic and autobiographical memory, coupled with a relative preservation of semantic memory.
Background The autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT) is a novel application of the implicit association concept for detecting life events. It has been used to reveal concealed knowledge in clinical and forensic settings, including detecting drug use. In this study, we aimed to explore the functionality of the aIAT to identify drug use in real-world settings. Methods The study used mixed methodology with known groups of drug users and nonusers. Recreational cocaine users (n = 23) and non-users (n = 23) were recruited through ethnographic methodology and assessed using a bespoke brief aIAT for cocaine use. An identical aIAT test for heroin detection was also administered to a sub-sample of 10 cocaine users and 13 nonusers. The accuracy of the cocaine aIAT was measured through ROC analysis. Paradoxical aIAT results were explored by integrating craving, consumption measures and life-story interviews into the analysis. Results Whilst the two brief aIATs showed good concurrent validity for cocaine users by accurately detecting drug using status for 18 of the 23 users (78.3%), the test falsely reported 61% cocaine users in the non-user comparison group. The average D-scores were 0.257±0.246 for the cocaine users and 0.134±0.367 for the non-users, showing no discriminatory power (t(44) = 1.339, p = 0.187; AUC = 0.605, p = 0.223). Results were independent from craving and recent cocaine use. The comparison group’s cocaine and heroin aIAT scores correlated significantly (r(13) = 0.776, p = 0.002) whilst an accurate absence of such relationship was evidenced in the cocaine using sample (r(10) = 0.061, p = 0.866). Triangulation with life-story interviews suggests that in the absence of an autobiographical event, this test may measure an alternative cognitive construct linked to the Self-concept. Conclusion The aIAT is a variant of an attitude measure and can be better rationalized if propositional thinking is implied to explain outcomes. The Relational Frame
Philippi, Nathalie; Rousseau, François; Noblet, Vincent; Botzung, Anne; Després, Olivier; Cretin, Benjamin; Kremer, Stéphane; Blanc, Frédéric; Manning, Liliann
We compared specific (i.e., associated with a unique time and space) and general (i.e., extended or repeated events) autobiographical memories (AbM) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The comparison aims at investigating the relationship between these two components of AbM across the lifespan and the volume of cerebral regions of interest within the temporal lobe. We hypothesized that the ability to elicit specific memories would correlate with hippocampal volume, whereas evoking general memories would be related to lateral temporal lobe. AbM was assessed using the modified Crovitz test in 18 patients with early AD and 18 matched controls. The proportions of total memories—supposed to reflect the ability to produce general memories—and specific memories retrieved were compared between AD patients and controls. Correlations to MRI volumes of temporal cortex were tested. We found different temporal patterns for specific and general memories in AD patients, with (i) relatively spared general memories, according to a temporal gradient that preserved remote memories, predominantly associated with right lateral temporal cortex volume. (ii) Conversely, the retrieval of specific AbMs was impaired for all life periods and correlated with bilateral hippocampal volumes. Our results highlight a shift from an initially episodic to a semantic nature of AbMs during AD, where the abstracted form of memories remains. PMID:26175549
Bartsch, Thorsten; Döhring, Juliane; Rohr, Axel; Jansen, Olav; Deuschl, Günther
Autobiographical memories in our lives are critically dependent on temporal lobe structures. However, the contribution of CA1 neurons in the human hippocampus to the retrieval of episodic autobiographical memory remains elusive. In patients with a rare acute transient global amnesia, highly focal lesions confined to the CA1 field of the hippocampus can be detected on MRI. We studied the effect of these lesions on autobiographical memory using a detailed autobiographical interview including the remember/know procedure. In 14 of 16 patients, focal lesions in the CA1 sector of the hippocampal cornu ammonis were detected. Autobiographical memory was significantly affected over all time periods, including memory for remote periods. Impairment of episodic memory and autonoetic consciousness exhibited a strong temporal gradient extending 30 to 40 y into the past. These results highlight the distinct and critical role of human hippocampal CA1 neurons in autobiographical memory retrieval and for re-experiencing detailed episodic memories. PMID:21987814
Ang, R. J. Y.
On February 16, 2009, the official opening of the IYA 2009 Philippine celebration was ushered by the National Organizing Committee, headed by Dr. Cynthia Celebre, Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for IYA 2009 in the Philippines and Chief of the Space Sciences and Astronomy Section of PAGASA. Prior to the event on the 16th, a major convention was held to promote astronomical efforts in the country, the Philippine Astronomy Convention 2009. The convention was organized by the Astronomical League of the Philippines, in partnership with the Rizal Technological University, Manila Planetarium, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and Sidewalk Astronomers - Philippines.
The present study aims at investigating the conceptions of happiness and unhappiness in a sample of Italian psychology undergraduates. Participants completed a questionnaire asking them to report the most important things that made them feel happy (happiness components) and those ones that made them feel unhappy (unhappiness components). Different measures of overall happiness and overall unhappiness were also obtained by asking respondents to assess to what extent each reported happiness and unhappiness component was present in their life, and by inviting them to provide a global judgment about their happiness and unhappiness. Results indicated that participants did not conceptualize happiness and unhappiness as perfect antonyms. Indeed, both investigated concepts encompassed a similar set of semantic components; however, the perceived salience of some of them − assessed in terms of frequency of citation and average ranking − significantly varied between happiness and unhappiness. With regard to the measurement of overall happiness and unhappiness, on average, respondents considered themselves as moderately happy and only slightly unhappy. However, a judgmental asymmetry was found when comparing global and specific evaluations of unhappiness. Theoretical and empirical implications of the study are discussed. PMID:27977718
Kringelbach, Morten L; Berridge, Kent C
Over fifty years ago the discovery that rats would work to electrically stimulate their brains suggested the intriguing possibility that bliss could be achieved through the use of 'pleasure electrodes' implanted deep within the brain. Subsequent research has failed to bring about this brave new world of boundless pleasure, but more recent findings have started to throw new light on the intriguing links between brain mechanisms of pleasure and happiness. We discuss these findings of the underlying neural mechanisms and functional neuroanatomy of pleasure in the brain. In particular we address how they may come to shed light on our understanding of the brain basis of happiness. Beyond sensory pleasures, we examine how higher pleasures may be related to the brain's default networks, especially in orchestrating cognitive aspects of the meaningfulness important to happiness. We also address how understanding of the hedonic brain might help alleviate the suffering caused by the lack of pleasure, anhedonia, which is a central feature of affective disorders such as depression and chronic pain.
Kringelbach, Morten L.; Berridge, Kent C.
Over fifty years ago the discovery that rats would work to electrically stimulate their brains suggested the intriguing possibility that bliss could be achieved through the use of ‘pleasure electrodes’ implanted deep within the brain. Subsequent research has failed to bring about this brave new world of boundless pleasure, but more recent findings have started to throw new light on the intriguing links between brain mechanisms of pleasure and happiness. We discuss these findings of the underlying neural mechanisms and functional neuroanatomy of pleasure in the brain. In particular we address how they may come to shed light on our understanding of the brain basis of happiness. Beyond sensory pleasures, we examine how higher pleasures may be related to the brain’s default networks, especially in orchestrating cognitive aspects of the meaningfulness important to happiness. We also address how understanding of the hedonic brain might help alleviate the suffering caused by the lack of pleasure, anhedonia, which is a central feature of affective disorders such as depression and chronic pain. PMID:20587348
Nesse, Randolph M
The quest for happiness has expanded from a focus on relieving suffering to also considering how to promote happiness. However, both approaches have yet to be conducted in an evolutionary framework based on the situations that shaped the capacities for happiness and sadness. Because of this, the emphasis has almost all been on the disadvantages of negative states and the benefits of positive states, to the nearly total neglect of 'diagonal psychology', which also considers the dangers of unwarranted positive states and the benefits of negative emotions in certain situations. The situations that arise in goal pursuit contain adaptive challenges that have shaped domain-general positive and negative emotions that were partially differentiated by natural selection to cope with the more specific situations that arise in the pursuit of different kinds of goals. In cultures where large social groups give rise to specialized and competitive social roles, depression may be common because regulation systems are pushed far beyond the bounds for which they were designed. Research on the evolutionary origins of the capacities for positive and negative emotions is urgently needed to provide a foundation for sensible decisions about the use of new mood-manipulating technologies. PMID:15347525
Bon, Laetitia; Baleyte, Jean-Marc; Piolino, Pascale; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Guillery-Girard, Bérengère
Autobiographical memory (AM) and social cognition share common properties and both are affected in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). So far, most of the scant research in ASD has concerned adults, systematically reporting impairment of the episodic component. The only study to be conducted with children concluded that they have poorer personal semantic knowledge than typical developing children. The present study explores the development of both components of AM in an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, based on three examinations in 2007, 2008, and 2010. On each occasion, he underwent a general neuropsychological assessment including theory of mind (ToM) tasks, and a specially designed AM task allowing us to test both the semantic and the episodic components for three lifetime periods (current year, previous year, and earlier years). We observed difficulties in strategic retrieval and ToM, with a significant improvement between the second and third examinations. Regarding AM, different patterns of performance were noted in all three examinations: (1) relative preservation of current year personal knowledge, but impairment for the previous and earlier years, and (2) impairment of episodic memory for the current and previous year, but performances similar to those of controls for the earlier years. The first pattern can be explained by abnormal forgetting and by the semanticization mechanism, which needs verbal communication and social interaction to be efficient. The second pattern suggests that the development of episodic memory only reached the stage of “event memory.” This term refers to memory for personal events lacking in details or spatiotemporal specificity, and is usually observed in children younger than five. We conclude that the abnormal functioning of social cognition in ASD, encompassing social, and personal points of view, has an impact on both components of AM. PMID:23335906
Kringelbach, Morten L; Berridge, Kent C
The pursuit of happiness is a preoccupation for many people. Yet only the pursuit can be promised, not happiness itself. Can science help? We focus on the most tractable ingredient, hedonia or positive affect. A step toward happiness might be gained by improving the pleasures and positive moods in daily life. The neuroscience of pleasure and reward provides relevant insights, and we discuss how specific hedonic mechanisms might relate to happiness or the lack thereof. Although the neuroscience of happiness is still in its infancy, further advances might be made through mapping overlap between brain networks of hedonic pleasure with others, such as the brain's default network, potentially involved in the other happiness ingredient, eudaimonia or life meaning and engagement.
Tullett, Alexa M; Plaks, Jason E
Happiness is a topic that ignites both considerable interest and considerable disagreement. Thus far, however, there has been little attempt to characterize people's lay theories about happiness or explore their consequences. We examined whether individual differences in lay theories of happiness would predict empathy. In Studies 1a and 1b, we validated the Lay Theories of Happiness Scale (LTHS), which includes three dimensions: flexibility, controllability, and locus. In Study 2, higher dispositional empathy was predicted by the belief that happiness is flexible, controllable, and internal. In Studies 3 and 4, higher empathy toward a specific target was predicted by the belief that happiness is flexible, uncontrollable, and external In conjunction, Studies 2, 3, and 4 provide evidence that trait and state empathy are separable and can have opposing relationships with people's lay theories. Overall, these findings highlight generalized beliefs that may guide empathic reactions to the unhappiness of others.
Rojas, Mariano; Veenhoven, Ruut
How do we assess how happy we are? One theory is that we compare life-as-it-is with standards of how-life-should-be. In this view, happiness emerges from a cognitive evaluation that draws on socially constructed standard of the good life. Another theory holds that we rather infer happiness on the basis of how well we feel most of the time. In that…
in press). Beyond language comprehension: Situation models as a form of autobiographical memory . In F. Schmalhofer & C. Perfetti (Eds.) Higher level...Technical Report 1221 Comprehension and Memory of Spatial and Temporal Event Components Gabriel A. Radvansky University of Notre Dame January 2008...SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER Comprehension and memory of spatial and temporal event DASW01-02-K-0003 components 5b. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER
Does thinking about time, rather than money, influence how effectively individuals pursue personal happiness? Laboratory and field experiments revealed that implicitly activating the construct of time motivates individuals to spend more time with friends and family and less time working-behaviors that are associated with greater happiness. In contrast, implicitly activating money motivates individuals to work more and socialize less, which (although productive) does not increase happiness. Implications for the relative roles of time versus money in the pursuit of happiness are discussed.
Clark, Andrew E; Flèche, Sarah; Senik, Claudia
In spite of the great U-turn that saw income inequality rise in Western countries in the 1980s, happiness inequality has fallen in countries that have experienced income growth (but not in those that did not). Modern growth has reduced the share of both the "very unhappy" and the "perfectly happy". Lower happiness inequality is found both between and within countries, and between and within individuals. Our cross-country regression results argue that the extension of various public goods helps to explain this greater happiness homogeneity. This new stylised fact arguably comes as a bonus to the Easterlin paradox, offering a somewhat brighter perspective for developing countries.
Cardoso, Christopher; Orlando, Mark Anthony; Brown, Christopher A; Ellenbogen, Mark A
Intranasal oxytocin has been shown to alter self-perceptions of personality (e.g., more trusting, increased extraversion). To follow up these findings, we examined the acute effects of two doses of intranasal oxytocin (24 IU and 48 IU) on another form of self-referential cognition: autobiographical memory. Changes in autobiographical memory (personal memories for the past) could conceivably effect change in self-perception and consequently alter social behaviors. We predicted that oxytocin would increase the number of specific personal memories recalled, and promote the recall of positive social affiliation memories. Seventeen male participants self-administered a placebo or oxytocin (24 IU, 48 IU) using a nasal spray on three separate occasions in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, and within-subject experiment. Participants completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) 110 minutes later. Analyses revealed a quadratic dose-response curve for the effects of intranasal oxytocin on autobiographical memory recall. The 24 IU dose, relative to the 48 IU dose and placebo, increased the number of specific personal memories recalled and promoted the recall of social affiliation memories that were rated more positively. The lack of effect with the 48 IU dose could be due to saturation of the oxytocin receptors at higher doses. Changes in autobiographical memory may be one mechanism by which oxytocin alters prosocial worldviews.
Ally, Brandon A.; Hussey, Erin P.; Donahue, Manus J.
Much controversy has been focused on the extent to which the amygdala belongs to the autobiographical memory core network. Early evidence suggested the amygdala played a vital role in emotional processing, likely helping to encode emotionally charged stimuli. However, recent work has highlighted the amygdala’s role in social and self-referential processing, leading to speculation that the amygdala likely supports the encoding and retrieval of autobiographical memory. Here, cognitive as well as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected from an extremely rare individual with near-perfect autobiographical memory, or hyperthymesia. Right amygdala hypertrophy (approximately 20%) and enhanced amygdala-to-hippocampus connectivity (> 10 standard deviations) was observed in this volunteer relative to controls. Based on these findings and previous literature, we speculate that the amygdala likely charges autobiographical memories with emotional, social, and self-relevance. In heightened memory, this system may be hyperactive, allowing for many types of autobiographical information, including emotionally benign, to be more efficiently processed as self-relevant for encoding and storage. PMID:22519463
Young, Kymberly; Drevets, Wayne C; Schulkin, Jay; Erickson, Kristine
The glucocorticoid hormone cortisol has been shown to impair episodic memory performance. The present study examined the effect of two doses of hydrocortisone (synthetic cortisol) administration on autobiographical memory retrieval. Healthy volunteers (n = 66) were studied on two separate visits, during which they received placebo and either moderate-dose (0.15 mg/kg IV; n = 33) or high-dose (0.45 mg/kg IV; n = 33) hydrocortisone infusion. From 75 to 150 min post-infusion subjects performed an Autobiographical Memory Test and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT). The high-dose hydrocortisone administration reduced the percent of specific memories recalled (p = .04), increased the percent of categorical (nonspecific) memories recalled (p < .001), and slowed response times for categorical memories (p < .001), compared with placebo performance. Under moderate-dose hydrocortisone the autobiographical memory performance did not change significantly with respect to percent of specific or categorical memories recalled or reaction times. Performance on the CVLT was not affected by hydrocortisone. These findings suggest that cortisol affects accessibility of autobiographical memories in a dose-dependent manner. Specifically, administration of hydrocortisone at doses analogous to those achieved under severe psychosocial stress impaired the specificity and speed of retrieval of autobiographical memories.
Tscharaktschiew, Nadine; Schindler, Rose; Schulz, Katrin; Rudolph, Udo
Moral emotions are typically elicited in everyday social interactions and regulate social behavior. Previous research in the field of attribution theory identified ought (the moral standard of a given situation or intended goal), goal-attainment (a goal can be attained vs. not attained) and effort (high vs. low effort expenditure) as cognitive antecedents of moral emotions. In contrast to earlier studies, mainly relying on thought experiments, we investigated autobiographical recollections of N = 312 participants by means of an online study. We analyzed a diverse range of moral emotions, i.e., admiration, anger, contempt, indignation, pride, respect, schadenfreude, and sympathy, by using a mixed-method approach. Qualitative and quantitative methods clearly corroborate the important role of ought, goal-attainment, and effort as eliciting conditions of moral emotions. Furthermore, we built categorical systems based on our participants’ descriptions of real-life situations, allowing for more fine-grained distinctions between seemingly similar moral emotions. We thus identify additional prerequisites explaining more subtle differences between moral emotion clusters as they emerge from our analyses (i.e., cluster 1: admiration, pride, and respect; cluster 2: anger, contempt, and indignation; cluster 3: schadenfreude and sympathy). Results are discussed in the light of attributional theories of moral emotions, and implications for future research are derived. PMID:27977699
Ernst, A; Blanc, F; Voltzenlogel, V; de Seze, J; Chauvin, B; Manning, L
The multifocal nature of lesions in multiple sclerosis hints at the occurrence of autobiographical memory (AbM) impairment. However, the dearth of studies on AbM in multiple sclerosis is noticeable, notwithstanding the importance of AbM in everyday life. In the first section of this study, 25 multiple sclerosis patients and 35 controls underwent a detailed episodic AbM assessment. Results obtained by means of ANOVA suggested an AbM retrieval deficit in every patient. That pattern of performance paved the way for the second section of the study, in which we followed up 10 out of the 25 patients. Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a cognitive facilitation programme designed to alleviate AbM retrieval deficits, based on the key role of mental visual imagery on AbM. Statistical group analyses by means of ANOVA and individual analyses using the χ(2) test showed significant differences in AbM test results, in post-facilitation relative to pre-facilitation training, in all 10 patients. Moreover, the patients' comments showed that the positive effects were transferred in their daily life functioning. We would like to suggest that the facilitation programme efficiently enhanced the process of self-centred mental visual imagery, which might have compensated for poor retrieval of personal memories by providing better access to visual details and detailed visual scenes of personal recollections.
Kim, Junhyoung; Kim, May; Park, Se-Hyuk
A growing body of empirical evidence has demonstrated that individuals who experience traumatic and stressful life events can experience positive psychological changes as a result of their struggles with adversity, stress, and trauma. The purpose of the current study is to examine the relationship among five domains (e.g., as relating to others, recognition of new possibilities, a feeling of personal strength, and spiritual change) of posttraumatic growth, happiness, and life satisfaction among Korean individuals with physical disabilities. The results of this study show that three factors (i.e., recognition of new possibilities, experience of spiritual growth, and an appreciation of life) served as predictors of life satisfaction, and two factors (i.e., recognition of new possibilities and personal strength) predicted happiness. This result suggests that certain factors of posttraumatic growth can lead to particular health benefits and influence these benefits to varied extents.
Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda
Autobiographical memory difficulties have been widely reported in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of the current study was to explore the potential correlates of autobiographical memory performance (including depressed mood, rumination, working memory and theory of mind) in adults with ASD, relative to a group of typical adults…
Robinson, Sarah R.; Jobson, Laura A.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and autobiographical memory specificity in older adults. Method: Older adult trauma survivors (N = 23) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test, Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, and Addenbrooke's Cognitive…
Berntsen, Dorthe; Rubin, David C.; Salgado, Sinue
We introduce a new scale, the Involuntary Autobiographical Memory Inventory (IAMI), for measuring the frequency of involuntary autobiographical memories and involuntary future thoughts. Using the scale in relation to other psychometric and demographic measures provided three important, novel findings. First, the frequency of involuntary and voluntary memories and future thoughts are similarly related to general measures of emotional distress. This challenges the idea that the involuntary mode is uniquely associated with emotional distress. Second, the frequency of involuntary autobiographical remembering does not decline with age, whereas measures of daydreaming, suppression of unwanted thoughts and dissociative experiences all do. Thus, involuntary autobiographical remembering relates differently to aging than daydreaming and other forms of spontaneous and uncontrollable thoughts. Third, unlike involuntary autobiographical remembering, the frequency of future thoughts does decrease with age. This finding underscores the need for examining past and future mental time travel in relation to aging and life span development. PMID:26241025
Verstraete, Pieter; Söderfeldt, Yva
To date, the historical entanglement of disability and happiness has not been considered an object worth of historical inquiry. Nor has the intersection of disability and emotions been used as a lens to examine the history of disability. Our paper aims at filling this academic void by analysing a wide range of philosophical, anthropological,…
O'Rourke, John; Cooper, Martin
Providing a curriculum that promotes personal growth and wellbeing is an overarching learning outcome of the Western Australian Curriculum Framework (Curriculum Framework, 1998). However, little is known about what constitutes and causes wellbeing of students in our primary schools. In the study reported in this paper the happiness of 312…
Harris, Celia B; O'Connor, Akira R; Sutton, John
Theories of autobiographical memory emphasise effortful, generative search processes in memory retrieval. However recent research suggests that memories are often retrieved directly, without effortful search. We investigated whether direct and generative retrieval differed in the characteristics of memories recalled, or only in terms of retrieval latency. Participants recalled autobiographical memories in response to cue words. For each memory, they reported whether it was retrieved directly or generatively, rated its visuo-spatial perspective, and judged its accompanying recollective experience. Our results indicated that direct retrieval was commonly reported and was faster than generative retrieval, replicating recent findings. The characteristics of directly retrieved memories differed from generatively retrieved memories: directly retrieved memories had higher field perspective ratings and lower observer perspective ratings. However, retrieval mode did not influence recollective experience. We discuss our findings in terms of cue generation and content construction, and the implication for reconstructive models of autobiographical memory.
Anderson, Rachel J; Dewhurst, Stephen A; Dean, Graham M
Two experiments used a dual task methodology to investigate the role of visual imagery and executive resources in the retrieval of specific autobiographical memories. In Experiment 1, dynamic visual noise led to a reduction in the number of specific memories retrieved in response to both high and low imageability cues, but did not affect retrieval times. In Experiment 2, irrelevant pictures reduced the number of specific memories but only in response to low imageability cues. Irrelevant pictures also increased response times to both high and low imageability cues. The findings are in line with previous work suggesting that disrupting executive resources may impair generative, but not direct, retrieval of autobiographical memories. In contrast, visual distractor tasks appear to impair access to specific autobiographical memories via both the direct and generative retrieval routes, thereby highlighting the potential role of visual imagery in both pathways.
O'Carroll, Ronan E; Dalgleish, Tim; Drummond, Lyndsey E; Dritschel, Barbara; Astell, Arlene
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is strongly associated with depression in adults and appears to reflect a stable cognitive bias. However, it is not known whether this bias exists in children or what factors contribute to its development. We examined the roles of age, dysphoria, and a new variable, emotion-focusing (EF), on the production of specific autobiographical memory (AM) in children, using the standard Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986 ). Results show that older children are more specific than younger children, irrespective of cue valence. Dysphoria was linked to less specific retrieval of positive memories in children. A three-way interaction between age, valence, and dysphoria was also found, such that older dysphoric children demonstrated a difficulty in retrieving specific negative memories. In addition, emotion-focusing was associated with specific AM recall, especially to negative cues. Results are discussed with reference to the development of depressogenic biases.
Rabiei, Leili; Mazaheri, Maryam Amidi; Masoudi, Reza; Hasheminia, Sayed Ali Mohammad
Background: Postpartum depression is endangering the health of mothers and has negative impacts on the evolution of social communication and newborns evolution. This study was conducted to determine the effects of Fordyce Happiness program on the postpartum depression. Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental intervention carried out on postpartum mothers that referred to 4 health centers in Isfahan. A total of 133 mothers were selected by convenient sampling and then randomly allocated in two groups (63 and 70 mothers for intervention and control respectively). Maternal depression 3 times before, immediate and 1 months after intervention in both groups was evaluated with Beck Depression Inventory-II-Persian standardized questionnaires. Educational sessions based on the Fordyce happiness program were conducted for intervention group. Data was analyzed in SPSS17 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, Illinois) descriptive and analytic statistical tests at significance level of 0.05. Results: No significant differences in demographic variables between the two groups (P ≥ 0.05). No significant differences in depression scores in the two groups before training. However after 2 months a significant difference in depression score was observed between two groups (control group: 19.38 ± 3.94; intervention group: 16.24 ± 4.8; P < 0.001). Furthermore in intervention group showed significant differences in depression scores before and after intervention (19.15 ± 3.41 and 16.24 ± 4.83; P < 0.001). However in the control group had not any significant change. Conclusion: Fordyce happiness program was effective in reducing postpartum depression in our study. With attention to the effectiveness and low cost of this program, it is recommended that this program might be considered for all mothers after childbirth in health centers or other community-based settings. PMID:24949034
Mineo, Ludovico; Concerto, Carmen; Patel, Dhaval; Mayorga, Tyrone; Chusid, Eileen; Infortuna, Carmenrita; Aguglia, Eugenio; Sarraf, Yasmin; Battaglia, Fortunato
Autobiographical Memory (AM) retrieval refers to recollection of experienced past events. Previous Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that presentation of emotional negative stimuli affects human motor cortex excitability resulting in larger motor evoked potentials (MEPs). Up to date no TMS studies have been carried out in order to investigate the effect of personal memories with negative emotional value on corticospinal excitability. In this study we hypothesized that negative AM retrieval will modulate corticomotor excitability and sensorimotor integration as determined by TMS neurophysiological parameters. Furthermore, we investigated whether TMS responses during retrieval of negative AM are associated with specific personality traits. Twelve healthy subjects were asked to recall either a negative or a neutral AM across two different days in a randomized order. During this memory retrieval, the following TMS parameters were recorded: MEPs; Short- interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and Intracortical facilitation (ICF); Short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) and Long- latency afferent inhibition (LAI). Personality traits were assessed by using the Big Five scale. Statistical analysis was performed using factorial ANOVAs and multiple linear regression models. When compared to retrieval of neutral AM, recollection of negative AM induced a larger increase in MEP amplitude, an increase in ICF, and a decrease in SAI. The neuroticism personality trait was a significant predictor of the MEP amplitude increase during retrieval of negative AM. Altogether these results indicate that cortical excitability and sensorimotor integration are selectively modulated by the valence of AM. These results provide the first TMS evidence that the modulatory effect of the AM retrieval is associated with specific personality traits.
In the field of college success and retention, researchers have examined school facilities, grade point averages, SAT scores, high school grades, and student involvement among other variables. One of the additional variables that has been examined is how happiness affects college success. The matter of student happiness is of primary importance to…
Darling, Joseph A; Circo, Deborah K
This quantitative study assessed whether presentation of preferred items and activities during multiple periods of the day (and over multiple days) increased indices of happiness (over time/sustained) in individuals with PMD. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized to measure changes in indices of happiness of the participants. Participants were recruited from an adult day activity program specializing in providing assistance to individuals with disabilities. For Mary, baseline indices of happiness were 26.67% of intervals, increasing 6.76% during intervention to 33.43%. For Caleb, baseline indices of happiness were 20.84% of intervals, increasing 6.34% during intervention to 27.18%. For Mark, baseline indices of happiness were 40.00% of intervals, increasing 12.75% during intervention to 52.75%. Overall interobserver agreement was 82.8%, with interobserver agreement observations occurring during 63.04% of the observations. The results of the investigation demonstrated that presenting preferred items and activities increased the indices of happiness compared to baseline rates of indices of happiness. Results may have been more robust if the participants were assessed for overall responsiveness patterns prior to the initiation of measurement of indices of happiness.
Langevin, Elizabeth L.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between undergraduate student happiness and academic performance (GPA), controlling for age, gender, and race/ethnicity for third and fourth year business students at University of Phoenix, Little Rock Campus. The eight-item Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) was used to measure the…
Denny, Katherine G.; Steiner, Hans
When under conditions of high demand and allostatic load, are happiness and satisfaction in four domains (family, friends, academics, recreation) influenced more by external or internal factors? Do student-athletes who lead exceedingly complicated lives report happiness as a function of athletic achievement or internal disposition? Stanford…
Fishman, Stephen M.; McCarthy, Lucille
Nel Noddings claims that there is an important normative element in happiness. For support, she points to the Aristotelian idea of the "eudaimonic" life, a concept that is often translated into English as "the happy life". However, in light of the wide divergence between the Aristotelian view of "eudaimonia" as a life…
Dockery, Alfred Michael
Education is generally seen as enhancing people's lives. However, previous research has reported an inverse relationship between education and happiness or satisfaction with life: as education level goes up, happiness goes down. Using data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY), this report examines the relationship between…
Uusitalo-Malmivaara, Lotta; Lehto, Juhani E.
In this study happiness and depression in 737 12-year-old Finnish children were predicted by relationships with family members and other people, the number of close friends and their experiences of parental fighting and drinking. There were no differences in happiness between the genders, but the girls were more depressed than the boys. Low…
Happiness, or subjective well-being, the self-evaluation of how happy or unhappy a person is, has been studied amongst adults using a variety of self-report methods. However, there has been relatively little related work with children. A psychometrically valid and reliable SWB measure for schoolchildren aged 8- to 15-years-old, the School…
Hartog, Joop; Oosterbeek, Hessel
Explores schooling's effect on health, wealth, and happiness for a cohort of Dutch individuals born around 1940. Uses observations on childhood IQ and family background. The group with a nonvocational, intermediate-level education scored highest on all three factors. IQ affects health, not wealth or happiness. Family background increases wealth,…
Newsome, John A.
Ensuring that learning takes place in physical education has been a challenge to physical educators for many years. "Busy, happy, and learning" is a variation of Judith Placek's (1983) landmark concept, defined in her article "Conceptions of success in teaching: Busy, happy and good?" In this article, Placek argues that many physical educators are…
Happiness is a large idea. It looms enticingly before us when we are young, delivers verdicts on our lives when we are old, and seems to inform a responsible engagement with children. The question is raised: do we want this idea? I explore a distinction between rich and poor conceptions of happiness, suggesting that many sceptical arguments are…
Bartolini, Stefano; Bilancini, Ennio; Pugno, Maurizio
During the last 30 years US citizens experienced, on average, a decline in reported happiness, social connections, and confidence in institutions. We show that a remarkable portion of the decrease in happiness is predicted by the decline in social connections and confidence in institutions. We carry out our investigation in three steps. First, we…
Kalmijn, W. M.; Arends, L. R.
What is a good measure for happiness inequality? In the context of this question, we have developed an approach in which individual happiness values in a sample are considered as elements of a set and inequality as a binary relation on that set. The total number of inequality relations, each weighed by the distance on the scale of measurement…
Angner, Erik; Miller, Michael J.; Ray, Midge N.; Saag, Kenneth G.; Allison, Jeroan J.
The relationship between health literacy and happiness was explored using a cross-sectional survey of community-dwelling older primary-care patients. Health literacy status was estimated with the following previously validated question: "How confident are you in filling out medical forms by yourself?" Happiness was measured using an adapted…
Anderson, Karen; Ferguson, Neil; Partington, Gary; Byrne, Matt
In this article, the outcomes of The Happy Kids project, a strategy to improve the social and emotional well-being of primary school students, were examined. Results indicated that the Happy Kids program had demonstrated positive social and emotional outcomes for students in all schools, in particular, a positive impact upon students' confidence,…
Yassin, Sulaiman Md.
Without any doubt happiness among staff in any organization is pertinent to ensure continued growth and development. However, not many studies were carried out to determine the domains that will be able to measure the level of happiness among staff in universities. Thus, the aim of this study is to elicit the domains that explain the overall…
Suggests that intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts are influential in marital relationships. Results indicate happy couples had predispositions for productively managing conflict; clinical couples had higher aggressiveness predispositions. Happy couples also had more loyalty to their communities, more energy for tasks, and more positive…
This paper discusses the relations between economic development, family income, and happiness in post-communist Poland from the point of view of Inglehart's theory of modernization. The happiness is understood as satisfaction with income and life, and as psychological well-being. The analysis of survey data yields the conclusion that economic…
Carrick, Nathalie; Ramirez, Madisenne
Research suggests that emotions influence children's ability to discern fantasy from reality; however, reasons for this association remain unknown. The current research sought to better understand the mechanisms underlying children's distinctions by examining the roles discrete emotions and context have in 3- to 5-year-olds' evaluations of fantasy and reality. In Study 1, children's fantasy-reality distinctions of images depicting happy, frightening, or sad events were obtained under two conditions: Children responded freely or were motivated to respond accurately. When responding freely, older children reported that happy and sad fantastic and real events could occur but frightening events could not. When motivated to respond accurately, children's accuracy improved for fantasy but not for reality. Study 2 examined real events exclusively and found that children may lack the knowledge that frightening, but not happy or sad, real events can occur. The findings provide new insight into how emotions affect children's fantasy-reality distinctions.
Although happiness as a state of mind may be universal, its meaning takes culture-specific forms. Drawing on the concept of folk theories, this study attempted to uncover lay beliefs about the nature of happiness in Germany and South Africa. To that end, 57 German and 44 black South African students wrote free-format essays in response to the…
Yechiam, Eldad; Telpaz, Ariel; Krupenia, Stas; Rafaeli, Anat
The implication of spontaneous and induced unhappiness to people's decision style is examined. It is postulated that unhappy individuals have a greater tendency to avoid frequent losses because these can have depleting effects, and unhappy individuals are more sensitive to such effects. This is evaluated in Study 1 by using an annoying customer call manipulation to induce negative affect; and by examining the effect of this manipulation on choices in an experiential decision task (the Iowa Gambling task). In Study 2 we examined the association between self-reported (un)happiness and choices on the same decision task. In Study 1 the induction of negative affect led to avoidance of choice alternatives with frequent losses, compared to those yielding rarer but larger losses. Specifically, this pertained to the advantageous alternatives with frequent vs. non-frequent losses. In Study 2 unhappiness was similarly associated with less exposure to frequent losses; while extreme high happiness was associated with no tendency to avoid frequent losses when these were part of an advantageous alternative. The findings clarify the role of happiness in decision making processes by indicating that unhappiness induces sensitivity to the frequency rather than to the total effect of negative events. PMID:27853443
Philippe, Frederick L; Koestner, Richard; Lecours, Serge; Beaulieu-Pelletier, Genevieve; Bois, Katy
The present research examined the role of autobiographical memory networks on negative emotional experiences. Results from 2 studies found support for an active but also discriminant role of autobiographical memories and their related networked memories on negative emotions. In addition, in line with self-determination theory, thwarting of the psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness was found to be the critical component of autobiographical memory affecting negative emotional experiences. Study 1 revealed that need thwarting in a specific autobiographical memory network related to the theme of loss was positively associated with depressive negative emotions, but not with other negative emotions. Study 2 showed within a prospective design a differential predictive validity between 2 autobiographical memory networks (an anger-related vs. a guilt-related memory) on situational anger reactivity with respect to unfair treatment. All of these results held after controlling for neuroticism (Studies 1 and 2), self-control (Study 2), and for the valence (Study 1) and emotions (Study 2) found in the measured autobiographical memory network. These findings highlight the ongoing emotional significance of representations of need thwarting in autobiographical memory networks.
Kara, Ozgun Kaya; Mutlu, Akmer; Gunel, Mintaze Kerem; Haliloglu, Goknur
This study aimed to investigate the benefits of physiotherapy programme in a patient with Angelman syndrome (AS) during a follow-up of 3 years. Assessments included: disability level with gross motor function classification systems, gross motor function with gross motor function measurement (GMFM), balance with Berg Balance Scale, motor performance with gross motor performance measurement (GMPM) and tonus assessment with Modified Ashworth Scale. Physiotherapy programme was performed during 36 months, 3 days per week by physical therapist according to Neurodevelopmental Treatment approach. During the 36 months, GMFM increased from 11.46% to 70.82% and GMPM increased from 1.25% to 70.25%. This case report is the first study about the effectiveness of physiotherapy with medium-term follow-up in a child with AS. Physiotherapy results make us happy in this particular patient with 'happy puppet' syndrome.
Boyacioglu, Inci; Akfirat, Serap
The purpose of this study is to develop a valid and reliable measure for the phenomenology of autobiographical memories. The psychometric properties of the Autobiographical Memory Characteristics Questionnaire (AMCQ) were tested in three studies: the factor structure of the AMCQ was examined for childhood memories in Study 1 (N = 305); for autobiographical memories related to romantic relationships in Study 2 (N = 197); and for self-defining memories in Study 3 (N = 262). The explanatory factor analyses performed for each memory type demonstrated the consistency of the AMCQ factor structure across all memory types; while a confirmatory factor analysis on the data garnered from all three studies supported the constructs for the autobiographical memory characteristics defined by the researchers. The AMCQ consists of 63 items and 14 factors, and the internal consistency values of all 14 scales were ranged between .66 and .97. The relationships between the AMCQ scales related to gender and individual emotions, as well as the intercorrelations among the scales, were consistent with both theoretical expectations and previous findings. The results of all the three studies indicated that this new instrument is a reliable and robust measure for memory phenomenology.
Maguire, Eleanor A.; Kumaran, Dharshan; Hassabis, Demis; Kopelman, Michael D.
Whilst patients with semantic dementia (SD) are known to suffer from semantic memory and language impairments, there is less agreement about whether memory for personal everyday experiences, autobiographical memory, is compromised. In healthy individuals, functional MRI (fMRI) has helped to delineate a consistent and distributed brain network…
Goddard, Lorna; Dritschel, Barbara; Howlin, Patricia
Autobiographical memory was assessed in 24 children (12 male, 12 female, aged between 8 and 16 years) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a comparison group of 24 typically developing (TD) children matched for age, IQ, gender and receptive language. Results suggested that a deficit in specific memory retrieval in the ASD group was more…
Sutin, Angelina R.; Gillath, Omri
In 2 studies, the present research tested the phenomenology and content of autobiographical memory as distinct mediators between attachment avoidance and anxiety and depressive symptoms. In Study 1, participants (N = 454) completed measures of attachment and depressive symptoms in 1 session and retrieved and rated 2 self-defining memories of…
Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda
Autobiographical memory impairments in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been attributed to a failure in using the self as an effective memory organisational system. To explore this hypothesis, we compared self-defining and everyday memories in adults with and without ASD. Results demonstrated that both groups were able to distinguish between…
Studies of autobiographical memory have shown that the degree to which individuals focus on themselves vs. social relations in their memories varies markedly across cultures. Do the differences result from differing cultural self-views (i.e., an autonomous vs. a relational sense of self), as often suggested in the literature? Experimental evidence…
Tompkins, Virginia; Farrar, M. Jeffrey
This study examined the role that mothers' scaffolding plays in the autobiographical memory (AM) and storybook narratives of children with specific language impairment (SLI). Seven 4-5-year-old children and their mothers co-constructed narratives in both contexts. We also compared children's narratives with mothers to their narratives with an…
Piolino, Pascale; Desgranges, Beatrice; Eustache, Francis
The critical attributes of episodic memory are self, autonoetic consciousness and subjectively sensed time. The aim of this paper is to present a theoretical overview of our already published researches into the nature of episodic memory over the course of time. We have developed a new method of assessing "autobiographical" memory (TEMPau task),…
Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna
Episodic and semantic autobiographical memories were examined in a group of adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and a control group matched for age, gender and IQ. Results demonstrated a personal episodic memory deficit in the ASD group in the absence of a personal semantic memory deficit, suggesting a deficit dissociation between these…
McDonough, Ian M.; Gallo, David A.
Retrieval monitoring enhances episodic memory accuracy. For instance, false recognition is reduced when participants base their decisions on more distinctive recollections, a retrieval monitoring process called the distinctiveness heuristic. The experiments reported here tested the hypothesis that autobiographical elaboration during study (i.e.,…
Margiano, Suzanne G.; Kehle, Thomas J.; Bray, Melissa A.; Nastasi, Bonnie K.; DeWees, Kayla
The intent of this preliminary study is to explore the effectiveness of self-modeling in altering maladaptive behavior in children through the mediating effect of modifying their autobiographical memories of their dysfunctional behaviors. We proposed that the alteration of inappropriate classroom behaviors afforded by the self-modeling…
Rawal, Adhip; Rice, Frances
Objective: Identifying risk factors for adolescent depression is an important research aim. Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is a feature of adolescent depression and a candidate cognitive risk factor for future depression. However, no study has ascertained whether OGM predicts the onset of adolescent depressive disorder. OGM was…
Mendelsohn, Avi; Furman, Orit; Navon, Inbal; Dudai, Yadin
A young woman was filmed during 2 d of her ordinary life. A few months and then again a few years later she was tested for the memory of her experiences in those days while undergoing fMRI scanning. As time passed, she came to accept more false details as true. After months, activity of a network considered to subserve autobiographical memory was…
Kangas, Maria; Henry, Jane L.; Bryant, Richard A.
In this study, the authors investigated the relationship between autobiographical memory and the onset and maintenance of distressing memories following cancer. In Study 1, participants recently diagnosed with head, neck, or lung cancer were assessed for acute stress disorder (ASD). Participants with ASD reported fewer specific memories than did…
Jones, Karen; Sambrook, Sally; Henley, Andrew; Norbury, Heather
This paper explores the lived experience of leadership learning and development in a single case study of an entrepreneur participating in a major leadership development programme for owner-managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based on autobiographical research, it provides a rich contextual account of the nature and underlying…
Beard, Laura J.
Discusses various definitions of the "testimonial" and characteristics that distinguish it from related literary genres. Examines autobiographical and testimonial literature by Native women of British Columbia, focusing on first-hand accounts of student experiences in Indian residential schools. Contains 29 references. (SV)
The focus of this article is on education for vocational excellence (the combination of virtue and good judgment or phronesis/practical wisdom) through an examination of episodes from the auto/biographical study of master craftsman Wolfgang B. Vocational excellence is an issue sometimes discussed with regard to teacher training for schools and…
This paper is an autobiographical narrative to demonstrate how educational practices and ideas travel through time. It demonstrates how pedagogy based on solidarity and counter hegemonic ideas combined with scholastic perspectives build coherent practices in different social contexts. The work as a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher in…
Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem, Lucy, Ed.; Halper, Joel Martin, Ed.
This publication provides autobiographical essays by students originally from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, all of whom arrived in the United States as refugees between 1975 and 1982. Following an introduction is an initial essay, "Becoming a Refugee, Being a Refugee, Ceasing To Be a Refugee," by L. Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem. The student essays are…
Turunen, Tuija A.; Dockett, Sue; Perry, Bob
This article reports on methodological issues in the study of autobiographical narratives about transition to school within a life course approach. The data consist of 89 Australian participants' recollections of starting school between 1928 and 1995. These narratives are considered as life reviews and part of the story of "continuing…
Anderson, Barrett; Goldin, Philippe R; Kurita, Keiko; Gross, James J
Cognitive models of social anxiety disorder (SAD) posit aberrant beliefs about the social self as a key psychological mechanism that maintains fear of negative evaluation in social and performance situations. Consequently, a distorted self-view should be evident when recalling painful autobiographical social memories, as reflected in linguistic expression, negative self-beliefs, and emotion and avoidance. To test this hypothesis, 42 adults diagnosed with SAD and 27 non-psychiatric healthy controls (HC) composed autobiographical narratives of distinct social anxiety related situations, generated negative self-beliefs (NSB), and provided emotion and avoidance ratings. Although narratives were matched for initial emotional intensity and present vividness, linguistic analyses demonstrated that, compared to HC, SAD employed more self-referential, anxiety, and sensory words, and made fewer references to other people. There were no differences in the number of self-referential NSB identified by SAD and HC. Social anxiety symptom severity, however, was associated with greater self-referential NSB in SAD only. SAD reported greater current self-conscious emotions when recalling autobiographical social situations, and greater active avoidance of similar situations than did HC. These findings support cognitive models of SAD, and suggest that autobiographical memory of social situations in SAD may influence current and future thinking, emotion, and behavioral avoidance.
Though we are all inevitably familiar with the everyday effects of forgetting, we generally fail to ask about what its internal movements look like, or how we can talk about what they reveal. Despite its necessity as a structuring process of autobiographical inquiry, forgetting's invisible moves are always obscured by that which remains: the…
This article draws on case studies undertaken in postgraduate research at AUT University, Auckland. It seeks to address a number of issues related to heuristic inquiries employed by graphic design students who use autobiographical approaches when developing research-based theses. For this type of thesis, heuristics as a system of inquiry may…
Despite the contributions of feminist theory and practice to improve workplace conditions in various sectors of business and industry, academic workplaces largely remain structured around a traditionally hierarchical, male workplace model and culture, which can inhibit women's career advancement. Using autobiographical narrative, I draw upon my…
Myers, Beth A.
This study investigates how adolescents with autism use autobiography to negotiate and co-construct their identities. This creation of multimodal autobiographical works took place in an afterschool inquiry group. Using practitioner inquiry in an ethnographic tradition, I examine how the teens created these works in the contexts of the group and…
Lind, Vicki R.; Bell-Tolliver, LaVerne
The following article explores the experiences of one of the authors who desegregated a junior high school during the early 1960s. The article is written as an auto/biographical study and resulted from the collaboration between two university professors. We believe this dualistic approach, grounded in ecological theory and referencing culturally…
Sembi, Pritpal Singh
This autobiographical case study is concerned with the personal journey of the author as he attempts to implement a technology-based innovation within the HE institution in which he teaches. This study scrutinises the author's role as "change agent" and examines his personal situational power base in the context of the institution's…
Verma, Geeta; Martin-Hansen, Lisa
This biographical piece is based on a conversation involving Bob Yager, Geeta Verma, and Lisa Martin-Hansen which took place at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) conference in March, 2008. The unique aspect of this autobiographical piece is that it highlights Dr. Yager's account about the emergence of the science…
Kamp Dush, Claire M.; Taylor, Miles G.; Kroeger, Rhiannon A.
Using data from six waves of the Study of Marital Instability over the Life Course (N = 1,998), we conducted a latent class analysis to test for distinct marital happiness trajectories. We found three distinct marital happiness trajectories: low, middle, and high happiness. Initial levels of life happiness were strongly associated with membership…
Amidst increasing attention to happiness studies by economists, the New Economics Foundation launched in July 2006 the Happy Planet Index (Marks et al. 2006). This is the ratio of the average happy life years (HLY) to the per capita ecological footprint of the country concerned. HLY is in turn the product of the average happiness (or life…
Rauer, Amy; Volling, Brenda
This study utilized observational and self-report data from 57 happily married couples to explore assumptions regarding marital happiness. Suggesting that happily married couples are not a homogeneous group, cluster analyses revealed the existence of three types of couples based on their observed behaviors in a problem-solving task: (1) mutually engaged couples (characterized by both spouses' higher negative and positive problem-solving); (2) mutually supportive couples (characterized by both spouses' higher positivity and support); and (3) wife compensation couples (characterized by high wife positivity). Although couples in all three clusters were equally happy with and committed to their marriages, these clusters were differentially associated with spouses' evaluations of their marriage. Spouses in the mutually supportive cluster reported greater intimacy and maintenance and less conflict and ambivalence, although this was more consistently the case in comparison to the wife compensation cluster, as opposed to the mutually engaged cluster. The implications of these typologies are discussed as they pertain to efforts on the part of both practitioners to promote marital happiness and repair marital relations when couples are faced with difficulties.
Yang, Chao; Srinivasan, Padmini
Life satisfaction refers to a somewhat stable cognitive assessment of one’s own life. Life satisfaction is an important component of subjective well being, the scientific term for happiness. The other component is affect: the balance between the presence of positive and negative emotions in daily life. While affect has been studied using social media datasets (particularly from Twitter), life satisfaction has received little to no attention. Here, we examine trends in posts about life satisfaction from a two-year sample of Twitter data. We apply a surveillance methodology to extract expressions of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with life. A noteworthy result is that consistent with their definitions trends in life satisfaction posts are immune to external events (political, seasonal etc.) unlike affect trends reported by previous researchers. Comparing users we find differences between satisfied and dissatisfied users in several linguistic, psychosocial and other features. For example the latter post more tweets expressing anger, anxiety, depression, sadness and on death. We also study users who change their status over time from satisfied with life to dissatisfied or vice versa. Noteworthy is that the psychosocial tweet features of users who change from satisfied to dissatisfied are quite different from those who stay satisfied over time. Overall, the observations we make are consistent with intuition and consistent with observations in the social science research. This research contributes to the study of the subjective well being of individuals through social media. PMID:26982323
Yang, Chao; Srinivasan, Padmini
Life satisfaction refers to a somewhat stable cognitive assessment of one's own life. Life satisfaction is an important component of subjective well being, the scientific term for happiness. The other component is affect: the balance between the presence of positive and negative emotions in daily life. While affect has been studied using social media datasets (particularly from Twitter), life satisfaction has received little to no attention. Here, we examine trends in posts about life satisfaction from a two-year sample of Twitter data. We apply a surveillance methodology to extract expressions of both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with life. A noteworthy result is that consistent with their definitions trends in life satisfaction posts are immune to external events (political, seasonal etc.) unlike affect trends reported by previous researchers. Comparing users we find differences between satisfied and dissatisfied users in several linguistic, psychosocial and other features. For example the latter post more tweets expressing anger, anxiety, depression, sadness and on death. We also study users who change their status over time from satisfied with life to dissatisfied or vice versa. Noteworthy is that the psychosocial tweet features of users who change from satisfied to dissatisfied are quite different from those who stay satisfied over time. Overall, the observations we make are consistent with intuition and consistent with observations in the social science research. This research contributes to the study of the subjective well being of individuals through social media.
Song, Lei; Xu, Shiyun; Yang, Jianying
This present study focuses on a dynamical model of happiness described through fractional-order differential equations. By categorizing people of different personality and different impact factor of memory (IFM) with different set of model parameters, it is demonstrated via numerical simulations that such fractional-order models could exhibit various behaviors with and without external circumstance. Moreover, control and synchronization problems of this model are discussed, which correspond to the control of emotion as well as emotion synchronization in real life. This study is an endeavor to combine the psychological knowledge with control problems and system theories, and some implications for psychotherapy as well as hints of a personal approach to life are both proposed.
Empirical research on happiness took off in the 1970s and accelerated after the emergence of positive psychology by 2000. Today this has resulted in some 23,000 research findings. In this article, I take stock of the findings on social conditions for happiness and distinguish between conditions at the macro level of society, the meso level of organisations and the micro level of individual conditions. A new review technique is applied, an online findings archive is used, in which research findings on happiness are described in a uniform way and sorted by subject.
Geiger, Ben Baumberg; MacKerron, George
There are surprisingly few discussions of the link between wellbeing and alcohol, and few empirical studies to underpin them. Policymakers have therefore typically considered negative wellbeing impacts while ignoring positive ones, used gross overestimates of positive impacts via a naïve 'consumer surplus' approach, or ignored wellbeing completely. We examine an alternative subjective wellbeing method for investigating alcohol and wellbeing, using fixed effects analyses of the associations between drinking and wellbeing within two different types of data. Study 1 examines wave-to-wave changes in life satisfaction and past-week alcohol consumption/alcohol problems (CAGE) from a representative cohort of people born in Britain in 1970, utilising responses at ages 30, 34 and 42 (a sample size of 29,145 observations from 10,107 individuals). Study 2 examines moment-to-moment changes in happiness and drinking from an iPhone-based data set in Britain 2010-13, which is innovative and large (2,049,120 observations from 31,302 individuals) but unrepresentative. In Study 1 we find no significant relationship between changing drinking levels and changing life satisfaction (p = 0.20), but a negative association with developing drinking problems (-0.18 points on a 0-10 scale; p = 0.003). In contrast, Study 2 shows a strong and consistent moment-to-moment relationship between happiness and drinking events (+3.88 points on a 0-100 scale; p < 0.001), although associations beyond the moment in question are smaller and more inconsistent. In conclusion, while iPhone users are happier at the moment of drinking, there are only small overspills to other moments, and among the wider population, changing drinking levels across several years are not associated with changing life satisfaction. Furthermore, drinking problems are associated with lower life satisfaction. Simple accounts of the wellbeing impacts of alcohol policies are therefore likely to be misleading. Policymakers must
Jatupaiboon, Noppadon; Pan-ngum, Setha; Israsena, Pasin
We propose to use real-time EEG signal to classify happy and unhappy emotions elicited by pictures and classical music. We use PSD as a feature and SVM as a classifier. The average accuracies of subject-dependent model and subject-independent model are approximately 75.62% and 65.12%, respectively. Considering each pair of channels, temporal pair of channels (T7 and T8) gives a better result than the other area. Considering different frequency bands, high-frequency bands (Beta and Gamma) give a better result than low-frequency bands. Considering different time durations for emotion elicitation, that result from 30 seconds does not have significant difference compared with the result from 60 seconds. From all of these results, we implement real-time EEG-based happiness detection system using only one pair of channels. Furthermore, we develop games based on the happiness detection system to help user recognize and control the happiness.
Dominguez-Fuentes, Juan Manuel; Hombrados-Mendieta, María Isabel
The association between perceived social support and happiness was investigated in women who are members of various associations in Malaga (Spain) that work with immigrant women. Based on the Social Convoy model, the association between sources of support, frequency of support, satisfaction with support, and happiness reported by women were examined. The main social support predictor of happiness was satisfaction with the support received. Thus, the best predictors of happiness were emotional support from the family and instrumental support from the indigenous population and associations. The best predictor of frequency of support was the frequency of informational support received from social services. These results may prove useful for developing lines of action or interventions centred on the social network and the functions that social support can fulfil among immigrant women.
Uchida, Yukiko; Kitayama, Shinobu
Cultural folk models of happiness and unhappiness are likely to have important bearings on social cognition and social behavior. At present, however, little is known about the nature of these models. Here, the authors systematically analyzed American and Japanese participants' spontaneously produced descriptions of the two emotions and observed, as predicted, that whereas Americans associated positive hedonic experience of happiness with personal achievement, Japanese associated it with social harmony. Furthermore, Japanese were more likely than Americans to mention both social disruption and transcendental reappraisal as features of happiness. As also predicted, unlike happiness, descriptions of unhappiness included various culture-specific coping actions: Whereas Americans focused on externalizing behavior (e.g., anger and aggression), Japanese highlighted transcendental reappraisal and self-improvement. Implications for research on culture and emotion are discussed.
Describes a simple setup and procedure that uses "happy/unhappy" balls (two balls with different degrees of elasticity) to lead students into a discussion of momentum transfer involving elastic and inelastic collisions. (ZWH)
Deng, Xinmei; Ding, Xuechen; Cheng, Chen; Chou, Hiu Mei
Sometimes people experience pleasant and unpleasant emotions at the same time in a single emotional event. Previous cross-cultural studies indicated that such mixed emotions are more prevalent in China and related to the attitudes toward happiness and individual’s regulatory motivation. However, China is a multi-ethnic country and not much is known about subcultural differences in mixed emotions. The aim of this study was to examine the role that implicit attitudes toward happiness and regulatory motivation played in regard of the subcultural differences in mixed emotions between Han (N = 61) and Mongolian Chinese (N = 46). Results indicated that, compared with Mongolian Chinese, Han Chinese showed stronger associations between implicit contra-hedonic attitudes toward happiness and mixed emotions during pleasant emotional events. Also, Han Chinese who reported contra-hedonic motivation during pleasant emotional events had higher levels of mixed emotions than those who had hedonic motivation. No significant differences were found in terms of mixed emotions between Mongolian Chinese who had contra-hedonic and hedonic motivation. These results suggest that the psychological mechanisms underlying differences in mixed emotions also require a more comprehensive understanding from a subcultural perspective. PMID:27833582
Deng, Xinmei; Ding, Xuechen; Cheng, Chen; Chou, Hiu Mei
Sometimes people experience pleasant and unpleasant emotions at the same time in a single emotional event. Previous cross-cultural studies indicated that such mixed emotions are more prevalent in China and related to the attitudes toward happiness and individual's regulatory motivation. However, China is a multi-ethnic country and not much is known about subcultural differences in mixed emotions. The aim of this study was to examine the role that implicit attitudes toward happiness and regulatory motivation played in regard of the subcultural differences in mixed emotions between Han (N = 61) and Mongolian Chinese (N = 46). Results indicated that, compared with Mongolian Chinese, Han Chinese showed stronger associations between implicit contra-hedonic attitudes toward happiness and mixed emotions during pleasant emotional events. Also, Han Chinese who reported contra-hedonic motivation during pleasant emotional events had higher levels of mixed emotions than those who had hedonic motivation. No significant differences were found in terms of mixed emotions between Mongolian Chinese who had contra-hedonic and hedonic motivation. These results suggest that the psychological mechanisms underlying differences in mixed emotions also require a more comprehensive understanding from a subcultural perspective.
Lilgendahl, Jennifer Pals; McAdams, Dan P.
Although growth has been a central focus in narrative research, few studies have examined growth comprehensively, as a story that emerges across the interpretation of many events. In this study, we examined how individual differences in autobiographical reasoning (AR) about self-growth relate to traits and well-being in midlife adults. Two patterns of growth-related AR were identified: 1) positive processing, defined as the average tendency to interpret events positively (vs. negatively), and 2) differentiated processing, defined as the extent to which past events are interpreted as causing a variety of forms of self-growth. Results showed that positive processing was negatively related to neuroticism and predicted well-being even after controlling for the average valence of past events. Additionally, differentiated processing of negative events but not positive events was positively related to openness and predictive of well-being. Finally, growth-related AR patterns independently predicted well-being beyond the effects of traits and demographic factors. PMID:21395593
Luhmann, Maike; Necka, Elizabeth A.; Schönbrodt, Felix D.; Hawkley, Louise C.
Recent studies suggest that valuing happiness is negatively associated with well-being. Most of these studies used the Valuing Happiness Scale (Mauss, Tamir, et al., 2011). In the present paper, we examined the factor structure of this scale using data pooled from six independent samples (Ntotal = 938). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis showed that the Valuing Happiness Scale is not unidimensional and that only one of its three factors correlates negatively with various indicators of well-being, whereas non-significant or positive correlations were found for the other factors. These findings indicate that valuing happiness may not necessarily be bad for one’s well-being, and call for a better definition, theoretical foundation, and operationalization of this construct. PMID:26778865
Sumner, Jennifer A.
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) has been found to be an important cognitive phenomenon with respect to depression and trauma-related psychopathology (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder), and researchers have been interested in better understanding the factors that contribute to this proposed vulnerability factor. The most prominent model of mechanisms underlying OGM to date is Williams et al.’s (2007) CaR-FA-X model. This model proposes that three processes influence OGM: capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and impaired executive control. The author reviews the current state of support for the CaR-FA-X model by evaluating 38 studies that have examined OGM and one or more mechanisms of the model. Collectively, these studies reveal robust support for associations between OGM and both rumination and impaired executive control. OGM also appears to be a cognitive avoidance strategy, and there is evidence that avoiding the retrieval of specific memories reduces distress after an aversive event, at least in the short term. Important issues that have been left unresolved are highlighted, including the nature of the capture phenomenon, the role of trauma in functional avoidance, and the developmental nature of functional avoidance. Recommendations for future research that will enhance understanding of the factors that contribute to OGM are suggested. PMID:22142837
Sumner, Jennifer A
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) has been found to be an important cognitive phenomenon with respect to depression and trauma-related psychopathology (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder), and researchers have been interested in better understanding the factors that contribute to this proposed vulnerability factor. The most prominent model of mechanisms underlying OGM to date is Williams et al.'s (2007) CaR-FA-X model. This model proposes that three processes influence OGM: capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and impaired executive control. The author reviews the current state of support for the CaR-FA-X model by evaluating 38 studies that have examined OGM and one or more mechanisms of the model. Collectively, these studies reveal robust support for associations between OGM and both rumination and impaired executive control. OGM also appears to be a cognitive avoidance strategy, and there is evidence that avoiding the retrieval of specific memories reduces distress after an aversive event, at least in the short term. Important issues that have been left unresolved are highlighted, including the nature of the capture phenomenon, the role of trauma in functional avoidance, and the developmental nature of functional avoidance. Recommendations for future research that will enhance understanding of the factors that contribute to OGM are suggested.
Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Sugawara, Sho K.; Hamano, Yuki H.; Makita, Kai; Matsunaga, Masahiro; Tanabe, Hiroki C.; Ogino, Yuichi; Saito, Shigeru; Sadato, Norihiro
Romantic relationship, a widespread feature of human society, is one of the most influential factors in daily life. Although stimuli related to romantic love or being in a romantic relationship commonly result in enhancement of activation or functional connectivity of the reward system, including the striatum, the structure underlying romantic relationship-related regions remain unclear. Because individual experiences can alter gray matter within the adult human brain, we hypothesized that romantic relationship is associated with structural differences in the striatum related to the positive subjective experience of being in a romantic relationship. Because intimate romantic relationships contribute to perceived subjective happiness, this subjective enhancement of happiness might be accompanied by the experience of positive events related to being in a romantic relationship. To test this hypothesis and elucidate the structure involved, we compared subjective happiness, an indirect measure of the existence of positive experiences caused by being in a romantic relationship, of participants with or without romantic partners (N = 68). Furthermore, we also conducted a voxel-based morphometry study of the effects of being in a romantic relationship (N = 113). Being in a romantic relationship was associated with greater subjective happiness and reduced gray matter density within the right dorsal striatum. These results suggest that being in a romantic relationship enhances perceived subjective happiness via positive experiences. Furthermore, the observed reduction in gray matter density in the right dorsal striatum may reflect an increase in saliency of social reward within a romantic relationship. Thus, being in a romantic relationship is associated with positive experiences and a reduction of gray matter density in the right dorsal striatum, representing a modulation of social reward. PMID:27895606
Siedlecki, Karen L
Visual perspective in autobiographical memories was examined in terms of reliability, consistency, and relationship to objective memory performance in a sample of 99 individuals. Autobiographical memories may be recalled from two visual perspectives--a field perspective in which individuals experience the memory through their own eyes, or an observer perspective in which individuals experience the memory from the viewpoint of an observer in which they can see themselves. Participants recalled nine word-cued memories that differed in emotional valence (positive, negative and neutral) and rated their memories on 18 scales. Results indicate that visual perspective was the most reliable memory characteristic overall and is consistently related to emotional intensity at the time of recall and amount of emotion experienced during the memory. Visual perspective is unrelated to memory for words, stories, abstract line drawings or faces.
Luchetti, Martina; Sutin, Angelina R
The Memory Experiences Questionnaire (MEQ) is a theoretically driven and empirically validated 63-item self-report scale designed to measure 10 phenomenological qualities of autobiographical memories: Vividness, Coherence, Accessibility, Time Perspective, Sensory Details, Visual Perspective, Emotional Intensity, Sharing, Distancing and Valence. To develop a short form of the MEQ to use when time is limited, participants from two samples (N = 719; N = 352) retrieved autobiographical memories, rated the phenomenological experience of each memory and completed several scales measuring psychological distress. For each MEQ dimension, the number of items was reduced by one-half based on item content and item-total correlations. Each short-form scale had acceptable internal consistency (median alpha = .79), and, similar to the long-form version of the scales, the new short scales correlated with psychological distress in theoretically meaningful ways. The new short form of the MEQ has similar psychometric proprieties as the original long form and can be used when time is limited.
Matsumoto, Noboru; Mochizuki, Satoshi
Reduced autobiographical memory specificity (rAMS) is a characteristic memory bias observed in depression. To corroborate the capture hypothesis in the CaRFAX (capture and rumination, functional avoidance, executive capacity and control) model, we investigated the effects of self-relevant cues and cue valence on rAMS using an adapted Autobiographical Memory Test conducted with a nonclinical population. Hierarchical linear modelling indicated that the main effects of depression and self-relevant cues elicited rAMS. Moreover, the three-way interaction among valence, self-relevance, and depression scores was significant. A simple slope test revealed that dysphoric participants experienced rAMS in response to highly self-relevant positive cues and low self-relevant negative cues. These results partially supported the capture hypothesis in nonclinical dysphoria. It is important to consider cue valence in future studies examining the capture hypothesis.
Sumner, Jennifer A.; Griffith, James W.; Mineka, Susan; Rekart, Kathleen Newcomb; Zinbarg, Richard E.; Craske, Michelle G.
This study investigated whether overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) predicts the course of depression in adolescents. As part of a larger longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders, 55 adolescents with a past history of major depressive disorder or minor depressive disorder completed the Autobiographical Memory Test. Fewer specific memories predicted the subsequent onset of a major depressive episode (MDE) over a 16-month follow-up period, even when covarying baseline depressive symptoms. This main effect was qualified by an interaction between specific memories and chronic interpersonal stress: Fewer specific memories predicted greater risk of MDE onset over follow-up at high (but not low) levels of chronic interpersonal stress. Thus, our findings suggest that OGM, in interaction with chronic interpersonal stress, predicts the course of depression among adolescents, and highlight the importance of measuring interpersonal stress in OGM research. PMID:21432666
Dalgleish, Tim; Werner-Seidler, Aliza
Depression is characterized by distinct profiles of disturbance in ways autobiographical memories are represented, recalled, and maintained. We review four core domains of difficulty: systematic biases in favor of negative material; impoverished access and responses to positive memories; reduced access to the specific details of the personal past; and dysfunctional processes of rumination and avoidance around personal autobiographical material. These difficulties drive the onset and maintenance of depression; consequently, interventions targeted at these maladaptive processes have clinical potential. Memory therapeutics is the development of novel clinical techniques, translated from basic research, that target memory difficulties in those with emotional disorders. We discuss prototypical examples from this clinical domain including MEmory Specificity Training, positive memory elaboration, memory rescripting, and the method-of-loci (MoL).
Rasmussen, Anne S; Habermas, Tilmann
According to theory, autobiographical memory serves three broad functions of overall usage: directive, self, and social. However, there is evidence to suggest that the tripartite model may be better conceptualised in terms of a four-factor model with two social functions. In the present study we examined the two models in Danish and German samples, using the Thinking About Life Experiences Questionnaire (TALE; Bluck, Alea, Habermas, & Rubin, 2005), which measures the overall usage of the three functions generalised across concrete memories. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the four-factor model and rejected the theoretical three-factor model in both samples. The results are discussed in relation to cultural differences in overall autobiographical memory usage as well as sharing versus non-sharing aspects of social remembering.
Van Daele, Tom; Griffith, James W; Van den Bergh, Omer; Hermans, Dirk
This study investigated whether overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) predicts the course of symptoms of depression and anxiety in a community sample, after 5, 6, 12 and 18 months. Participants (N=156) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21) at baseline and were subsequently reassessed using the DASS-21 at four time points over a period of 18 months. Using latent growth curve modelling, we found that OGM was associated with a linear increase in depression. We were unable to detect changes over time in anxiety. OGM may be an important marker to identify people at risk for depression in the future, but more research is needed with anxiety.
Sumner, Jennifer A; Griffith, James W; Mineka, Susan; Rekart, Kathleen Newcomb; Zinbarg, Richard E; Craske, Michelle G
This study investigated whether overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) predicts the course of depression in adolescents. As part of a larger longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders, 55 adolescents with a past history of major depressive disorder or minor depressive disorder completed the Autobiographical Memory Test. Fewer specific memories predicted the subsequent onset of a major depressive episode (MDE) over a 16-month follow-up period, even when covarying baseline depressive symptoms. This main effect was qualified by an interaction between specific memories and chronic interpersonal stress: Fewer specific memories predicted greater risk of MDE onset over follow-up at high (but not low) levels of chronic interpersonal stress. Thus, our findings suggest that OGM, in interaction with chronic interpersonal stress, predicts the course of depression among adolescents, and highlight the importance of measuring interpersonal stress in OGM research.
Kong, Tianzhu; He, Yini; Auerbach, Randy P.; McWhinnie, Chad M.; Xiao, Jing
Objective In this study, we examined the mediator effects of overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) on the relationship between rumination and depression in 323 Chinese university students. Method 323 undergraduates completed the questionnaires measuring OGM (Autobiographical Memory Test), rumination (Ruminative Response Scale) and depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale). Results Results using structural equation modeling showed that OGM partially-mediated the relationship between rumination and depression (χ2 = 88.61, p < .01; RMSEA = .051; SRMR = .040; and CFI = .91). Bootstrap methods were used to assess the magnitude of the indirect effects. The results of the bootstrap estimation procedure and subsequent analyses indicated that the indirect effects of OGM on the relationship between rumination and depressive symptoms were significant. Conclusion The results indicated that rumination and depression were partially mediated by OGM. PMID:25977594
Yanes, Paula K; Roberts, John E; Carlos, Erica L
Considerable previous research has shown that retrieval of overgeneral autobiographical memories (OGM) is elevated among individuals suffering from various emotional disorders and those with a history of trauma. Although previous theories suggest that OGM serves the function of regulating acute negative affect, it is also possible that OGM results from difficulties in keeping the instruction set for the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) in working memory, or what has been coined "secondary goal neglect" (Dalgleish, 2004). The present study tested whether OGM is associated with poor memory for the task's instruction set, and whether an instruction set reminder would improve memory specificity over repeated trials. Multilevel modelling data-analytic techniques demonstrated a significant relationship between poor recall of instruction set and probability of retrieving OGMs. Providing an instruction set reminder for the AMT relative to a control task's instruction set improved memory specificity immediately afterward.
Fleischer, Juliane; Weber, Juliane; Hellmann-Regen, Julian; Düsenberg, Moritz; Wolf, Oliver T; Otte, Christian; Wingenfeld, Katja
There is evidence that specificity of autobiographical memory (AM) retrieval is impaired by cortisol. However, it is unknown whether glucocorticoids differentially influence the retrieval of recent versus remote AMs. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of cortisol on AM retrieval, in terms of memory specificity, with respect to remoteness of the retrieved memories. A placebo controlled, double blind study was conducted. Thirty female and 24 male healthy participants (mean age 24.5, SD=3.7) received either placebo or 10mg hydrocortisone before completing an autobiographical memory test. Participants showed higher memory specificity for recent memories compared to remote ones. There was no main effect of cortisol on AM retrieval. However, interaction effects suggest that cortisol affects remote, but not recent memories, which seems to depend upon valence.
Grilli, Matthew D; Verfaellie, Mieke
This paper addresses the idea that there may be two types of autobiographical facts with distinct cognitive and neural mechanisms: "Experience-near" autobiographical facts, which contain spatiotemporal content derived from personal experience and thus depend on the medial temporal lobe (MTL) for retrieval, and "experience-far" autobiographical facts, which are abstract memories and thus rely on neocortical brain regions involved in retrieval of general semantic memory. To investigate this conceptual model of autobiographical fact knowledge, we analyzed the nature of autobiographical facts that were generated by 8 individuals with MTL amnesia and 12 control participants in a recent study of identity and memory [Grilli, M.D., & Verfaellie, M. (2015). Supporting the self-concept with memory: insight from amnesia. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1684-1692]. Results revealed that MTL amnesic participants generated fewer experience-near autobiographical facts than controls. Experience-far autobiographical fact generation was not impaired in amnesic participants with damage restricted to the MTL, but there was preliminary evidence to suggest that it may be impaired in amnesic participants with damage to the MTL and anterior lateral temporal lobe. These results support a cognitive and neural distinction between experience-near and experience-far autobiographical facts and have implications for understanding the contribution of autobiographical fact knowledge to self-related cognition.
Yousefi, Zahra; Sharifi, Khadijeh; Tagharrobi, Zahra; Akbari, Hossien
Background: Happiness has a considerable impact on elderly quality of life. Reminiscence therapy can be an effective intervention in increasing the positive emotions among elderly. Objectives: This study was performed to investigate the effect of reminiscence therapy on Iranian elderly women’s happiness. Patients and Methods: This randomized clinical trial conducted on 32 elderly women (census sampling) attending the jahandidegan daycare elderly center IN Gorgan city, Iran, in 2013. Happiness scores of 4 phases were measured: before, the third session, the sixth session and one month after the intervention. Three instruments were used in this study including a demographic questionnaire, the mini mental state examination test, and Oxford happiness questionnaire. The intervention group participated in six sessions of narrative group reminiscence that were held in three consecutive weeks, two sessions per week. The control group was also participated in six sessions of group discussions that were held in three consecutive weeks, two sessions per week. Data analysis was performed the chi-square, independent t-test, Paired t-test. Results: From a total of 32 elderly women, 29 cases completed the study. No significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of demographic characteristics. The mean happiness scores before the intervention between the two groups were not significantly different (P = 0.824). Comparison of the mean happiness scores of the intervention group in the four measurement times revealed a significant difference only after the third and sixth sessions (P = 0.03), and no significant difference was found between the mean happiness scores of the control group in the four measurement times. Conclusions: The elderly participating in the matched group sessions can be effective in increasing positive emotions. PMID:26734470
Pathman, Thanujeni; Larkina, Marina; Burch, Melissa; Bauer, Patricia J.
Remembering the temporal information associated with personal past events is critical for autobiographical memory, yet we know relatively little about the development of this capacity. In the present research, we investigated temporal memory for naturally occurring personal events in 4-, 6-, and 8-year-old children. Parents recorded unique events in which their children participated during a 4-month period. At test, children made relative recency judgments and estimated the time of each event using conventional time-scales (time of day, day of week, month of year, and season). Children also were asked to provide justifications for their time-scale judgments. Six- and 8-year-olds, but not 4-year-olds, accurately judged the order of two distinct events. There were age-related improvements in children's estimation of the time of events using conventional time-scales. Older children provided more justifications for their time-scale judgments compared to younger children. Relations between correct responding on the time-scale judgments and provision of meaningful justifications suggest that children may use that information to reconstruct the times associated with past events. The findings can be used to chart a developmental trajectory of performance in temporal memory for personal past events, and have implications for our understanding of autobiographical memory development. PMID:23687467
Carr, Deborah; Freedman, Vicki A.; Cornman, Jennifer C.; Schwarz, Norbert
The authors examined associations between marital quality and both general life satisfaction and experienced (momentary) well-being among older husbands and wives, the relative importance of own versus spouse’s marital appraisals for well-being, and the extent to which the association between own marital appraisals and well-being is moderated by spouse’s appraisals. Data are from the 2009 Disability and Use of Time daily diary supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 722). One’s own marital satisfaction is a sizable and significant correlate of life satisfaction and momentary happiness; associations do not differ significantly by gender. The authors did not find a significant association between spouse’s marital appraisals and own well-being. However, the association between husband’s marital quality and life satisfaction is buoyed when his wife also reports a happy marriage, yet flattened when his wife reports low marital quality. Implications for understanding marital dynamics and well-being in later life are discussed. PMID:25221351
Andersson, Gerhard; Hesser, Hugo; Cima, Rilana F F; Weise, Cornelia
Several studies show that patients with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder respond with fewer specific autobiographical memories in a cued memory task (i.e. the autobiographical memory test; AMT) compared to healthy controls. One previous study found this phenomenon among tinnitus patients as well (Andersson, Ingerholt, & Jansson, 2003). The aim of this study was to replicate the previous study with an additional control group of depressed patients and memory errors as measured with the AMT as an additional outcome. We included 20 normal hearing tinnitus patients, 20 healthy controls and 20 persons diagnosed with clinical depression. The AMT was administered together with self-report measures of depression, anxiety and tinnitus distress. Both the tinnitus and depression groups differed from the healthy control group in that they reported fewer specific autobiographical memories. There were, however, differences between the tinnitus and depression groups in terms of the errors made on the AMT. The depression group had more overgeneral memories than the normal control group, whereas the tinnitus group did not differ from the control group on this memory error. The tinnitus group had more semantic associations and non-memories than the other two groups, suggesting that executive functioning may play a role for the tinnitus group when completing the AMT. Clinical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.
Horton, Caroline L; Malinowski, Josie E
In this paper we argue that autobiographical memory (AM) activity across sleep and wake can provide insight into the nature of dreaming, and vice versa. Activated memories within the sleeping brain reflect one's personal life history (autobiography). They can appear in largely fragmentary forms and differ from conventional manifestations of episodic memory. Autobiographical memories in dreams can be sampled from non-REM as well as REM periods, which contain fewer episodic references and become more bizarre across the night. Salient fragmented memory features are activated in sleep and re-bound with fragments not necessarily emerging from the same memory, thus de-contextualizing those memories and manifesting as experiences that differ from waking conceptions. The constructive nature of autobiographical recall further encourages synthesis of these hyper-associated images into an episode via recalling and reporting dreams. We use a model of AM to account for the activation of memories in dreams as a reflection of sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes. We focus in particular on the hyperassociative nature of AM during sleep.
Pistono, Aurélie; Jucla, Mélanie; Barbeau, Emmanuel J; Saint-Aubert, Laure; Lemesle, Béatrice; Calvet, Benjamin; Köpke, Barbara; Puel, Michèle; Pariente, Jérémie
There is a large body of research on discourse production in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Some studies have focused on pause production, revealing that patients make extensive use of pauses during speech. This has been attributed to lexical retrieval difficulties, but pausing may also reflect other forms of cognitive impairment as it increases with cognitive load. The aim of the present study was to analyze autobiographical discourse impairment in AD from a broad perspective, looking at pausing behavior (frequency, duration, and location). Our first objective was to characterize discourse changes in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD. Our second objective was to determine the cognitive and neuroanatomical correlates of these changes. Fifteen patients with MCI due to AD and 15 matched cognitively normal controls underwent an ecological episodic memory task, a full neuropsychological assessment, and a 3D T1-weighted MRI scans. Autobiographical discourse collected from the ecological episodic memory task was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed, focusing on pausing. Intergroup comparisons showed that although patients did not produce more pauses than controls overall, they did make more between-utterance pauses. The number of these specific pauses was positively correlated with patients' episodic memory performance. Furthermore, neuroimaging analysis showed that, in the patient group, their use was negatively correlated with frontopolar area (BA 10) grey matter density. This region may therefore play an important role in the planning of autobiographical discourse production. These findings demonstrate that pauses in early AD may reflect a compensatory mechanism for improving mental time travel and memory retrieval.
Irish, Muireann; Cunningham, Conal J; Walsh, J Bernard; Coakley, Davis; Lawlor, Brian A; Robertson, Ian H; Coen, Robert F
The enhancing effect of music on autobiographical memory recall in mild Alzheimer's disease individuals (n = 10; Mini-Mental State Examination score >17/30) and healthy elderly matched individuals (n = 10; Mini-Mental State Examination score 25-30) was investigated. Using a repeated-measures design, each participant was seen on two occasions: once in music condition (Vivaldi's 'Spring' movement from 'The Four Seasons') and once in silence condition, with order counterbalanced. Considerable improvement was found for Alzheimer individuals' recall on the Autobiographical Memory Interview in the music condition, with an interaction for condition by group (p < 0.005). There were no differences in terms of overall arousal using galvanic skin response recordings or attentional errors during the Sustained Attention to Response Task. A significant reduction in state anxiety was found on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory in the music condition (p < 0.001), suggesting anxiety reduction as a potential mechanism underlying the enhancing effect of music on autobiographical memory recall.
Kleim, Birgit; Ehlers, Anke
In this prospective longitudinal study, the authors examined the relationship between reduced specificity in autobiographical memory retrieval and the development of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and specific phobia after injury in an assault. Assault survivors (N = 203) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (J. M. G. Williams & K. Broadbent, 1986) at 2 weeks after the trauma as well as structured clinical interviews at 2 weeks and 6 months. Participants with acute stress disorder or major depression at 2 weeks, but not those with phobia, retrieved fewer specific autobiographical memories than those without the respective disorder. Reduced memory specificity at 2 weeks also predicted subsequent PTSD and major depression at 6 months over and above what could be predicted from initial diagnoses and symptom severity. Moderator analyses showed that low memory specificity predicted later depression in participants with prior episodes of major depression but not in those without prior depression. Mediation analyses suggested that rumination partly mediated and perceived permanent change fully mediated the effects of low memory specificity on posttrauma psychopathology at follow-up. PMID:18377120
Bauer, Patricia J; Larkina, Marina
Within the memory literature, a robust finding is of childhood amnesia: a relative paucity among adults for autobiographical or personal memories from the first 3 to 4 years of life, and from the first 7 years, a smaller number of memories than would be expected based on normal forgetting. Childhood amnesia is observed in spite of strong evidence that during the period eventually obscured by the amnesia, children construct and preserve autobiographical memories. Why early memories seemingly are lost to recollection is an unanswered question. In the present research, we examined the issue by using the cue word technique to chart the distributions of autobiographical memories in samples of children ages 7 to 11 years and samples of young and middle-aged adults. Among adults, the distributions were best fit by the power function, whereas among children, the exponential function provided a better fit to the distributions of memories. The findings suggest that a major source of childhood amnesia is a constant rate of forgetting in childhood, seemingly resulting from failed consolidation, the outcome of which is a smaller pool of memories available for later retrieval.
Sumner, Jennifer A; Griffith, James W; Mineka, Susan
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is an important cognitive phenomenon in depression, but questions remain regarding the underlying mechanisms. The CaR-FA-X model (Williams et al., 2007) proposes three mechanisms that may contribute to OGM, but little work has examined the possible additive and/or interactive effects among them. We examined two mechanisms of CaR-FA-X: capture and rumination, and impaired executive control. We analysed data from undergraduates (N=109) scoring high or low on rumination who were presented with cues of high and low self-relevance on the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT). Executive control was operationalised as performance on both the Stroop Colour-Word Task and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT). Hierarchical generalised linear modelling was used to predict whether participants would generate a specific memory on a trial of the AMT. Higher COWAT scores, lower rumination, and greater cue self-relevance predicted a higher probability of a specific memory. There was also a rumination×cue self-relevance interaction: Higher (vs lower) rumination was associated with a lower probability of a specific memory primarily for low self-relevant cues. We found no evidence of interactions between these mechanisms. Findings are interpreted with respect to current autobiographical memory models. Future directions for OGM mechanism research are discussed.
Takano, Keisuke; Mori, Masaki; Nishiguchi, Yuki; Moriya, Jun; Raes, Filip
The autobiographical memory test (AMT) is a widely used measure to assess the specificity of autobiographical memories. Reduced Autobiographical Memory Specificity (AMS) or increased overgeneralization of memories is considered as a cognitive hallmark of depression. Therefore, reduced AMS is the subject of much psychopathological research, and is a promising target for psychological interventions. Although considerable evidence has been gathered on the clinical relevance of reduced AMS over the past decades, studies on AMS have been mainly conducted in Western populations, and few have been conducted in Asian populations. This could be because of the unknown psychometric properties of the AMT given cultural and language differences. Therefore, the present study examined the psychometric properties of the AMT in a Japanese community sample (N=1240). Our data replicated that (a) the AMT has a uni-factorial structure; (b) AMS has a small but statistically significant negative correlation with depressive symptoms; (c) AMS shows a significant declining trend as a function of age, which influences the magnitude of the association between AMS and depressive symptoms in older adults. These findings suggest that the AMT has robust psychometric properties across different languages and cultural backgrounds.
Horton, Caroline L.; Malinowski, Josie E.
In this paper we argue that autobiographical memory (AM) activity across sleep and wake can provide insight into the nature of dreaming, and vice versa. Activated memories within the sleeping brain reflect one’s personal life history (autobiography). They can appear in largely fragmentary forms and differ from conventional manifestations of episodic memory. Autobiographical memories in dreams can be sampled from non-REM as well as REM periods, which contain fewer episodic references and become more bizarre across the night. Salient fragmented memory features are activated in sleep and re-bound with fragments not necessarily emerging from the same memory, thus de-contextualizing those memories and manifesting as experiences that differ from waking conceptions. The constructive nature of autobiographical recall further encourages synthesis of these hyper-associated images into an episode via recalling and reporting dreams. We use a model of AM to account for the activation of memories in dreams as a reflection of sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes. We focus in particular on the hyperassociative nature of AM during sleep. PMID:26191010
Bado, Patricia; Engel, Annerose; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Bramati, Ivanei E; Paiva, Fernando F; Basilio, Rodrigo; Sato, João R; Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Moll, Jorge
Humans spend a substantial share of their lives mind-wandering. This spontaneous thinking activity usually comprises autobiographical recall, emotional, and self-referential components. While neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that a specific brain “default mode network” (DMN) is consistently engaged by the “resting state” of the mind, the relative contribution of key cognitive components to DMN activity is still poorly understood. Here we used fMRI to investigate whether activity in neural components of the DMN can be differentially explained by active recall of relevant emotional autobiographical memories as compared with the resting state. Our study design combined emotional autobiographical memory, neutral memory and resting state conditions, separated by a serial subtraction control task. Shared patterns of activation in the DMN were observed in both emotional autobiographical and resting conditions, when compared with serial subtraction. Directly contrasting autobiographical and resting conditions demonstrated a striking dissociation within the DMN in that emotional autobiographical retrieval led to stronger activation of the dorsomedial core regions (medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex), whereas the resting state condition engaged a ventral frontal network (ventral striatum, subgenual and ventral anterior cingulate cortices) in addition to the IPL. Our results reveal an as yet unreported dissociation within the DMN. Whereas the dorsomedial component can be explained by emotional autobiographical memory, the ventral frontal one is predominantly associated with the resting state proper, possibly underlying fundamental motivational mechanisms engaged during spontaneous unconstrained ideation. Hum Brain Mapp 35:3302–3313, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25050426
In the National Child Development Study, life-course variability in happiness over 18 years was significantly negatively associated with its mean level (happier individuals were more stable in their happiness, and it was not due to the ceiling effect), as well as childhood general intelligence and all Big Five personality factors (except for Agreeableness). In a multiple regression analysis, childhood general intelligence was the strongest predictor of life-course variability in life satisfaction, stronger than all Big Five personality factors, including Emotional stability. More intelligent individuals were significantly more stable in their happiness, and it was not entirely because: (1) they were more educated and wealthier (even though they were); (2) they were healthier (even though they were); (3) they were more stable in their marital status (even though they were); (4) they were happier (even though they were); (5) they were better able to assess their own happiness accurately (even though they were); or (6) they were better able to recall their previous responses more accurately or they were more honest in their survey responses (even though they were both). While I could exclude all of these alternative explanations, it ultimately remained unclear why more intelligent individuals were more stable in their happiness.
Tanaka, Saori C; Yamada, Katsunori; Kitada, Ryo; Tanaka, Satoshi; Sugawara, Sho K; Ohtake, Fumio; Sadato, Norihiro
There are various methods by which people can express subjective evaluations quantitatively. For example, happiness can be measured on a scale from 1 to 10, and has been suggested as a measure of economic policy. However, there is resistance to these types of measurement from economists, who often regard welfare to be a cardinal, unbounded quantity. It is unclear whether there are differences between subjective evaluation reported on ordinal, bounded scales and on cardinal, unbounded scales. To answer this question, we developed functional magnetic resonance imaging experimental tasks for reporting happiness from monetary gain and the perception of visual stimulus. Subjects tended to report higher values when they used ordinal scales instead of cardinal scales. There were differences in neural activation between ordinal and cardinal reporting scales. The posterior parietal area showed greater activation when subjects used an ordinal scale instead of a cardinal scale. Importantly, the striatum exhibited greater activation when asked to report happiness on an ordinal scale than when asked to report on a cardinal scale. The finding that ordinal (bounded) scales are associated with higher reported happiness and greater activation in the reward system shows that overstatement bias in happiness data must be considered.
Tanaka, Saori C.; Yamada, Katsunori; Kitada, Ryo; Tanaka, Satoshi; Sugawara, Sho K.; Ohtake, Fumio; Sadato, Norihiro
There are various methods by which people can express subjective evaluations quantitatively. For example, happiness can be measured on a scale from 1 to 10, and has been suggested as a measure of economic policy. However, there is resistance to these types of measurement from economists, who often regard welfare to be a cardinal, unbounded quantity. It is unclear whether there are differences between subjective evaluation reported on ordinal, bounded scales and on cardinal, unbounded scales. To answer this question, we developed functional magnetic resonance imaging experimental tasks for reporting happiness from monetary gain and the perception of visual stimulus. Subjects tended to report higher values when they used ordinal scales instead of cardinal scales. There were differences in neural activation between ordinal and cardinal reporting scales. The posterior parietal area showed greater activation when subjects used an ordinal scale instead of a cardinal scale. Importantly, the striatum exhibited greater activation when asked to report happiness on an ordinal scale than when asked to report on a cardinal scale. The finding that ordinal (bounded) scales are associated with higher reported happiness and greater activation in the reward system shows that overstatement bias in happiness data must be considered. PMID:26887524
Rubin, David C.; Boals, Adriel; Berntsen, Dorthe
One-hundred-fifteen undergraduates screened for PTSD symptom severity rated 15 word-cued memories and their 3 most-negatively-stressful, 3 most-positive, and 7 most-important events, and completed tests of personality and depression. Eighty-nine also recorded involuntary memories online for one week. We compared 1) memories of stressful to control events and 2) involuntary to voluntary memories 3) in people high versus low in PTSD symptom severity, providing the first three-way comparisons needed to test existing theories. Stressful versus control memories in all participants and high PTSD symptom severity in all memories produced memories with more emotional intensity and more frequent voluntary and involuntary retrieval, but not more fragmentation. Involuntary memories had more emotional intensity and less centrality to the life story than voluntary memories. Meeting the diagnostic criteria for traumatic events had no effect, the emotional responses to events did. Correlations among measures were replicated and the Negative-Intensity factor of the Affect Intensity Measure correlated with PTSD symptom severity in 533 undergraduates. No special trauma mechanisms were needed to account for the results, which are summarized by the Autobiographical Memory Theory of PTSD. PMID:18999355
Martin-Ordas, Gema; Berntsen, Dorthe; Call, Josep
Determining the memory systems that support nonhuman animals' capacity to remember distant past events is currently the focus an intense research effort and a lively debate [1-3]. Comparative psychology has largely adopted Tulving's framework by focusing on whether animals remember what-where-when something happened (i.e., episodic-like memory) [4-6]. However, apes have also been reported to recall other episodic components  after single-trial exposures [8, 9]. Using a new experimental paradigm we show that chimpanzees and orangutans recalled a tool-finding event that happened four times 3 years earlier (experiment 1) and a tool-finding unique event that happened once 2 weeks earlier (experiment 2). Subjects were able to distinguish these events from other tool-finding events, which indicates binding of relevant temporal-spatial components. Like in human involuntary autobiographical memory, a cued, associative retrieval process triggered apes' memories: when presented with a particular setup, subjects instantaneously remembered not only where to search for the tools (experiment 1), but also the location of the tool seen only once (experiment 2). The complex nature of the events retrieved, the unexpected and fast retrieval, the long retention intervals involved, and the detection of binding strongly suggest that chimpanzees and orangutans' memories for past events mirror some of the features of human autobiographical memory.
Fararouei, M; Brown, I J; Akbartabar Toori, M; Estakhrian Haghighi, R; Jafari, J
This study was conducted to examine the association of happiness in adolescent females with leisure time and health related behaviours namely diet, physical activity and first or second hand smoking. Using a self-administered questionnaire, data were collected from 8159 female high school students ages 11-19 years. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed statistically significant associations between happiness and weight, regular exercise, exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, daily fruit or vegetable consumption and the way participants spent their leisure time. Happiness was associated with lower BMI, regular physical activity, absence of exposure to second-hand smoke, higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, and spending leisure time with family (all P < 0.005). These exploratory findings suggest that encouraging children and adolescents to adopt healthy behaviours, providing family time and a smoke-free environment may make them not only healthier but also happier.
Gupta, Rashmi; Deák, Gedeon O
When we make errors, we tend to experience a negative emotional state. In addition, if our errors are witnessed by other people, we might expect those observers to respond negatively. However, little is known about how implicit social feedback like facial expressions influences error processing. We explored this using the cognitive control phenomenon of post-error slowing: the tendency to slow the response immediately following an error. Adult participants performed a difficult perceptual task: estimating which of two lines (horizontal or vertical) was longer. The background showed an irrelevant distractor face with a happy, sad, or neutral expression. Participants slowed after errors only when the subsequent distractor face was happy, but not when the subsequent distractor was sad or neutral nor when a happy face followed a correct response. This suggests that information about others' affect, even non-interactive, task-irrelevant information, has performance- and valence-dependent effects on adaptive cognitive control.
Catalino, Lahnna I; Algoe, Sara B; Fredrickson, Barbara L
A decade of research reveals the benefits of positive emotions for mental and physical health; however, recent empirical work suggests the explicit pursuit of happiness may backfire. The present study hypothesized that the pursuit of happiness is not inherently self-defeating; in particular, individuals who seek positivity, as exemplified by how they make decisions about how to organize their day-to-day lives, may be happier. This individual difference is labeled prioritizing positivity. In a community sample of young to older adults (N = 233), prioritizing positivity predicted a host of well-being outcomes (positive emotions, depressive symptomology). In addition, people high in prioritizing positivity have greater resources, and these links are explained by more frequent experiences of positive emotions. In sum, the present study suggests that seeking happiness, although a delicate art, may be a worthwhile pursuit.
Martinelli, Pénélope; Sperduti, Marco; Devauchelle, Anne-Dominique; Kalenzaga, Sandrine; Gallarda, Thierry; Lion, Stéphanie; Delhommeau, Marion; Anssens, Adèle; Amado, Isabelle; Meder, Jean François; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale
Age-related changes in autobiographical memory (AM) recall are characterized by a decline in episodic details, while semantic aspects are spared. This deleterious effect is supposed to be mediated by an inefficient recruitment of executive processes during AM retrieval. To date, contrasting evidence has been reported on the neural underpinning of this decline, and none of the previous studies has directly compared the episodic and semantic aspects of AM in elderly. We asked 20 young and 17 older participants to recall specific and general autobiographical events (i.e., episodic and semantic AM) elicited by personalized cues while recording their brain activity by means of fMRI. At the behavioral level, we confirmed that the richness of episodic AM retrieval is specifically impoverished in aging and that this decline is related to the reduction of executive functions. At the neural level, in both age groups, we showed the recruitment of a large network during episodic AM retrieval encompassing prefrontal, cortical midline and posterior regions, and medial temporal structures, including the hippocampus. This network was very similar, but less extended, during semantic AM retrieval. Nevertheless, a greater activity was evidenced in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) during episodic, compared to semantic AM retrieval in young participants, and a reversed pattern in the elderly. Moreover, activity in dACC during episodic AM retrieval was correlated with inhibition and richness of memories in both groups. Our findings shed light on the direct link between episodic AM retrieval, executive control, and their decline in aging, proposing a possible neuronal signature. They also suggest that increased activity in dACC during semantic AM retrieval in the elderly could be seen as a compensatory mechanism underpinning successful AM performance observed in aging. These results are discussed in the framework of recently proposed models of neural reorganization in aging
Personality traits have been directly associated with happiness. One consistent finding is a strong link between extraversion and happiness: extraverts are happier than introverts. Although happy introverts exist, it is currently unclear under what conditions they can achieve happiness. The present study analyzes, generally, how the quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability influence happiness and, specifically, how these factors can lead introverts to be happy. In the present study, 1,006 participants aged 18–80 (42% males) completed measures of extraversion, neuroticism, quality of social relationships, emotion regulation ability, and happiness. We found that extraverts had significantly higher happiness, quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability scores than introverts. In addition, people with high quality social relationships or high emotion regulation ability were happier. Serial mediation analyses indicated that greater levels of extraversion were associated with greater happiness, with small effect size, via two indirect mechanisms: (a) higher quality of social relationships, and (b) higher quality of social relationships followed serially by higher emotion regulation ability. We also found a moderating effect due to the three-way interaction of extraversion, quality of social relationships, and emotion regulation ability: introverts were happier when they had high scores for these two variables, though the effect size was small. These results suggest that the quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability are relevant to our understanding of complex associations between extraversion and happiness. PMID:26500814
Cabello, Rosario; Fernandez-Berrocal, Pablo
Personality traits have been directly associated with happiness. One consistent finding is a strong link between extraversion and happiness: extraverts are happier than introverts. Although happy introverts exist, it is currently unclear under what conditions they can achieve happiness. The present study analyzes, generally, how the quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability influence happiness and, specifically, how these factors can lead introverts to be happy. In the present study, 1,006 participants aged 18-80 (42% males) completed measures of extraversion, neuroticism, quality of social relationships, emotion regulation ability, and happiness. We found that extraverts had significantly higher happiness, quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability scores than introverts. In addition, people with high quality social relationships or high emotion regulation ability were happier. Serial mediation analyses indicated that greater levels of extraversion were associated with greater happiness, with small effect size, via two indirect mechanisms: (a) higher quality of social relationships, and (b) higher quality of social relationships followed serially by higher emotion regulation ability. We also found a moderating effect due to the three-way interaction of extraversion, quality of social relationships, and emotion regulation ability: introverts were happier when they had high scores for these two variables, though the effect size was small. These results suggest that the quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability are relevant to our understanding of complex associations between extraversion and happiness.