The quality of self, social, and directive memories: Are there adult age group differences?

Nicole Alea, Mary Jane Arneaud, Sideeka Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The quality of functional autobiographical memories was examined in young, middle-aged, and older adult Trinidadians (N = 245). Participants wrote about an event that served a self, social, and directive function, and reported on the memory’s quality (e.g., significance, vividness, valence, etc.). Across age groups, directive memories were the most negative, and social function memories were the most positive. Social function memories were also talked about most. Compared to younger adults, older adults’ functional memories, regardless of the type of function, were positive and talked about often, and middle-aged adults’ memories were significant and vivid. The discussion encourages researchers to continue to simultaneously consider both why humans remember so much of their life, and what they remember when doing so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-406
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • adulthood, autobiographical memory, culture, function, memory quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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