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Gender differences in autobiographical memory: Females latently express communality more than males
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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(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 [en]
autobiographical memory, gender differences, LSA, LIWC, content analysis
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-166099DiVA, id: diva2:1288584
Available from: 2019-02-13 Created: 2019-02-13 Last updated: 2019-02-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Autobiographical Memory: Depending on sensory retrieval cue and gender
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Autobiographical Memory: Depending on sensory retrieval cue and gender
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
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:nbn:se:su:diva-166098 (URN)978-91-7797-572-4 (ISBN)978-91-7797-573-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-03-29, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
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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

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Karlsson, KristinaJönsson, FredrikGustafsson Sénden, Marie
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