Current work on autobiographical memory does not take the term autobiographical seriously enough. Doing so requires taking not just single events, but the whole life and its coherence, into account: Only memories that are linked to self through their emotional or motivational significance over one's life are truly autobiographical. We introduce a new construct, the life story schema, a skeletal mental representation of life's major components and links. The life story schema provides 5 conceptual extensions to current models of autobiographical memory. The conclusion that results from these extensions is that the life story schema serves to bind autobiographical memory and the self over time. Research needed to substantiate our claims and further questions generated by the life story schema construct are discussed.
Motivation and Emotion – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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