Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Autobiographical memory and autobiographical narrative of a staged event: The influence of the listener

Summary The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of narration and listening conditions in autobiographical memory of a staged event. Eighty young adults were recruited for the present research. First, they were interviewed on current issues (staged event). Second, they were asked to complete a memory questionnaire about the content of the interview. Then, they were assigned to three retrieval conditions: narration to an empathic listener, narration to a detached listener, and retrieving thinking silently about the event. Finally, 1 week later, the participants were asked to complete the memory questionnaire again to assess the influence of narration and listening conditions on memory. The results show that the experimental conditions significantly influenced the memory trend for a staged event. The emphatic listening condition promoted memory significantly more than did the other two conditions. The authors interpret these results in terms of the theory of narrativization.

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