Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

John N. Bohannon III

Abstract

Consequentiality, affect, and rehearsal are also important components that help contribute to the recall of autobiographical memories. Traditionally, these features have been assessed in public dramatic events in the past such as the Challenger explosion and the 9111 terrorist attack. In opposition to these traditionally studied events, the present study examined the effects of these features on five different private events. An analysis of these different experiences was assessed to determine the role of consequentiality, affect, and rehearsal play on memory recall. These three components were assessed in five different events during different points of the lifetime. Adults diagnosed with a cancer diagnosis (N = 44) were examined and compared to adults who heard about their child's injury (N = 63, Hillman et al., 2010), adults who viewed their child's injury (N = 37 Hillman et al., 2010), adults who experienced a car accident (N = 74, Shaneyfelt, Minor, & Bohannon, 2008), and adults who experienced an injury during their childhood (N = 109, Hillman et al., 2010). All of these events were measures with a two part survey that consisted of a free recall narrative of the event and a detailed series of proved questions which included ratings of vividness, affect, and an estimate of rehearsals. Cancer diagnosis memories yielded the highest memory detail and recounts, but the lowest vividness ratings. This finding sheds light on how the method of information input plays different roles in both memory quality and quantity.

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