Personality, Sociability, and Autobiographical Memory: Do Personality Traits or Social Support Relate to Enhanced Memory Specificity?

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Deasy, Lauren Leigh
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Autobiographical memories are memories of personal experiences. Most research on this form of memory has focused on accuracy, consistency, vividness, and emotional consistency, but more recent studies have shown that personality and social factors can affect autobiographical recall. In this study, we examine those personality traits and social factors in more detail using the Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire, the Autobiographical Memory Interview, Perceived Social Support Scales, Duke Functional Support Scales, Beck Depression Index, and the NEO-FFI with 60 older adults in the Charleston community. Our findings suggest that high familial support is associated with enhanced early childhood autobiographical memory, even when controlling for scores on the Beck Depression Index and extraversion. In addition, high familial support correlates with several qualities of autobiographical memories such as reliving of the memory, the narrative coherence, the positivity of the emotions in the memory, the vividness of the auditory imagery, and the tendency to rehearse memories. Sociability, specifically family support, is related to enhanced quality and specificity of autobiographical memory.
Autobiographical memory, sociability, personality, Big Five Personality