Title

The Roles of Gender and Temporal Distance in the Recall of Dissonant Self-Related Memories

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2014

Department

Psychology

Language

English

Publication Title

Consciousness and Cognition

Abstract

This study examined strategies employed to support a positive self-image in the face of dissonant self-related memories, especially focusing on the role of gender. Participants (N = 498) were recruited online and identified a self-descriptive trait. They then reported a memory of a time when they did or did not act according to that trait. Participants distanced themselves from dissonant, self-related memories by downplaying the event’s importance and relevance to identity and by emphasizing their lack of agency and the degree to which they had changed. Additionally, participants reported dissonant events from further in the past than consonant events, a tendency displayed more strongly amongst women than men. Women also rated events as more pertinent to the self on questionnaire measures. Findings demonstrate ways that autobiographical memories are reported and organized to support a positive self-image, and deepen an understanding of the role of gender in this process.

Comments

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DOI

10.1016/j.concog.2014.07.003

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