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Autobiographical Memory: Depending on sensory retrieval cue and gender
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In my thesis I raised two questions: Does autobiographical memory differ i) depending on the sensory retrieval cue (Study I and II)? and ii) depending on gender (Study III)?

Concerning retrieval cues, three unimodal cues (i.e., photographs, naturalistic sounds and odors) and one multimodal cue (i.e., the three unimodal cues presented simultaneously) were used to evoke autobiographical memories. The results demonstrated that the memories differed depending on retrieval cue. In particular, the olfactory-cued memories differed in semantic content and were from an earlier age in contrast to the other modalities. The visually and auditory-evoked memories differed less than expected in their semantic content and age distribution in relation to the multimodal condition. The multimodally cued memories could be described as being a combination of the three unimodalities, as illustrated by the semantic content and age distribution, though they were more similar to the visually and auditory-cued memories than to the olfactory-cued memories. One possible explanation for these results could be that we attend more to visual and auditory perceptions than to olfactory.

With regard to gender, previous research has found gender differences in the manifest content (i.e., the actual words used) of autobiographical memories. However, to my knowledge none has investigated gender differences in the latent content (i.e., the underlying meaning in the expressed words). The results indicated that there was no difference between the genders in the manifest content. However, the females latently described their memories in more communal terms than males did, which supports the assumption that females are more communally oriented than are males.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2019. , p. 92
Keywords [en]
autobiographical memory, sensory retrieval cues, age distribution, phenomenological ratings, latent semantic analysis (LSA), linguistic inquiry word count (LIWC), gender differences
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166098ISBN: 978-91-7797-572-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-573-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-166098DiVA, id: diva2:1288578
Public defence
2019-03-29, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-03-06 Created: 2019-02-13 Last updated: 2019-03-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Semantic Representation of Event Information Depends on the Cue Modality: An Instance of Meaning-Based Retrieval
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Semantic Representation of Event Information Depends on the Cue Modality: An Instance of Meaning-Based Retrieval
2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 10, article id e73378Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The semantic content, or the meaning, is the essence of autobiographical memories. In comparison to previous research, which has mainly focused on the phenomenological experience and the age distribution of retrieved events, the present study provides a novel view on the retrieval of event information by quantifying the information as semantic representations. We investigated the semantic representation of sensory cued autobiographical events and studied the modality hierarchy within the multimodal retrieval cues. The experiment comprised a cued recall task, where the participants were presented with visual, auditory, olfactory or multimodal retrieval cues and asked to recall autobiographical events. The results indicated that the three different unimodal retrieval cues generate significantly different semantic representations. Further, the auditory and the visual modalities contributed the most to the semantic representation of the multimodally retrieved events. Finally, the semantic representation of the multimodal condition could be described as a combination of the three unimodal conditions. In conclusion, these results suggest that the meaning of the retrieved event information depends on the modality of the retrieval cues.

National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97035 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0073378 (DOI)000326241200001 ()
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2019-02-13Bibliographically approved
2. Multimodal retrieval of autobiographical memories: Sensory information contributes differently to the recollection of events
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multimodal retrieval of autobiographical memories: Sensory information contributes differently to the recollection of events
2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, article id 1681Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous studies on autobiographical memory have focused on unimodal retrieval cues (i.e., cues pertaining to one modality). However, from an ecological perspective multimodal cues (i.e., cues pertaining to several modalities) are highly important to investigate. In the present study we investigated age distributions and experiential ratings of autobiographical memories retrieved with unimodal and multimodal cues. Sixty-two participants were randomized to one of four cue-conditions: visual, olfactory, auditory, or multimodal. The results showed that the peak of the distributions depends on the modality of the retrieval cue. The results indicated that multimodal retrieval seemed to be driven by visual and auditory information to a larger extent and to a lesser extent by olfactory information. Finally, no differences were observed in the number of retrieved memories or experiential ratings across the four cue-conditions.

Keywords
autobiographical memory, multimodal, multisensory, unimodal, age distribution, experiential ratings
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123241 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01681 (DOI)000364558400001 ()
Available from: 2015-11-19 Created: 2015-11-19 Last updated: 2019-03-06Bibliographically approved
3. Gender differences in autobiographical memory: Females latently express communality more than males
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender differences in autobiographical memory: Females latently express communality more than males
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Gender differences have been found in several aspects of autobiographical memory (i.e., personally experienced events). For example, previous studies have shown that females’ autobiographical memories contain more communal and emotional expressions than males’ do. However, an important question concerns whether these differences can be observed both in the manifest content (i.e., what is actually said) and in the latent content (i.e., the underlying meaning of what is said). In the present exploratory study, we extended the current knowledge concerning gender differences in autobiographical memory by investigating the manifestly expressed (with LIWC) as well as the latently expressed (with LSA) in autobiographical memory descriptions. We observed an overall gender difference in the latent content of the autobiographical memories. Furthermore, females latently described their memories in more communal terms than males did. No other gender differences were found. Our results indicate that females’ autobiographical memories are more communally oriented than male’s.

Keywords
autobiographical memory, gender differences, LSA, LIWC, content analysis
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166099 (URN)
Available from: 2019-02-13 Created: 2019-02-13 Last updated: 2019-02-20Bibliographically approved

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