Journal Article


Autobiographical memory distributions for negative self-images: Memories are organised around negative as well as positive aspects of identity

Abstract

The relationship between developmental experiences, and an individual's emerging beliefs about themselves and the world, is central to many forms of psychotherapy. People suffering from a variety of mental health problems have been shown to use negative memories when defining the self; however, little is known about how these negative memories might be organised and relate to negative self-images. In two online studies with middle-aged (N = 18; study 1) and young (N = 56; study 2) adults, we found that participants' negative self-images (e.g., I am a failure) were associated with sets of autobiographical memories that formed clustered distributions around times of self-formation, in much the same pattern as for positive self-images (e.g., I am talented). This novel result shows that highly organised sets of salient memories may be responsible for perpetuating negative beliefs about the self. Implications for therapy are discussed.

Attached files

Authors

Rathbone, C
Steel, C

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health

Dates

Year of publication: 2015
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-01-27



Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Autobiographical memory distributions for negative self-images: Memories are organised around negative as well as positive aspects of identity
This RADAR resource is Cited by Memory and the self in ageing

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