There is more to life stories than memories

@article{Thomsen2009ThereIM,
  title={There is more to life stories than memories},
  author={Dorthe Kirkegaard Thomsen},
  journal={Memory},
  year={2009},
  volume={17},
  pages={445 - 457}
}
  • D. Thomsen
  • Published 1 April 2009
  • Psychology, Sociology
  • Memory
Current theories focus on the role of specific memories in organising the life story. However, temporally extended structures of autobiographical memory, like lifetime periods and mini-narratives (here termed chapters), may also play a central role in the organisation of the life story. Here, 30 elderly participants were asked to tell their life story in a free format. The life stories were divided into components and coded as chapters, specific memories, categoric memories, facts, chapters… 
Life story chapters, specific memories and the reminiscence bump
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The results support the idea that chapters guide the search for specific memories and that the cultural life script contributes to the search process.
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Summary Two studies investigated the effects of recalling either life story chapters or specific memories on measures of self-continuity and self-esteem. Participants were assigned to recall
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TLDR
A conceptual framework is proposed that situates the study of vicarious life stories at the crossroads between personality and social cognition, identifies their potential functions, and describes possible connections between vicarious and personal life stories.
Development in the Organization of Episodic Memories in Middle Childhood and Adolescence
TLDR
These findings support and extend current theories of episodic memory by specifying that pre-adolescents are starting to organize their episodic memories into lifetime periods, but this achievement is not fully realized until later in adolescence.
Life story chapters and narrative self-continuity in patients with schizophrenia
The emotional content of life stories: Positivity bias and relation to personality
TLDR
It is suggested that the life story is positively biased by minimising the negative future, and that the construction of life stories is related to personality traits.
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