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Title

Remembering pride and shame: Self-enhancement and the phenomenology of autobiographical memory

Authors
D'Argembeau, Arnaud
Published in Memory. 2008, vol. 16, no. 5, p. 538 - 547
Abstract People's self-images are grounded in autobiographical memories and, in particular, in the phenomenological experience associated with remembering. The desire to increase or maintain the positivity of the self-image (i.e., the self-enhancement motive) might thus play an important role in shaping memory phenomenology. This study examined this hypothesis by asking participants to recall positive and negative events that involve self-evaluations (i.e., pride and shame) and positive and negative events that involve evaluations about others (i.e., admiration and contempt); various phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensory details, feeling of re-experiencing) were assessed using rating scales. The results show a positivity bias (i.e., subjectively remembering positive events with more details than negative events)for events that involve self-evaluations but not for events that involve evaluations of others. In addition, this bias was stronger for people high in self-esteem. It is oncluded that biases affecting the phenomenology of autobiographical memory are part of the arsenal of psychological mechanisms people use to maintain a positive self-image.
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Research group Unité de psychopathologie et neuropsychologie cognitive (UPNC)
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D'ARGEMBEAU, Arnaud, VAN DER LINDEN, Martial. Remembering pride and shame: Self-enhancement and the phenomenology of autobiographical memory. In: Memory, 2008, vol. 16, n° 5, p. 538 - 547. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:6648

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Deposited on : 2010-05-20

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