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Self-Defining and Early Childhood Memories: Subjective Intensity Rating of Memory-Related Emotions
American Journal of Applied Psychology
Volume 5, Issue 5, September 2016, Pages: 32-37
Received: Sep. 30, 2016; Accepted: Oct. 14, 2016; Published: Nov. 23, 2016
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Ornella Montebarocci, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Paola Surcinelli, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Nicolino Cesare Franco Rossi, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
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The aim of the present research was to explore the subjective rating of emotional intensity during the recall of memory-related emotions. 41 participants retrieved two different types of autobiographical memory – i.e., a self-defining memory and an earliest childhood memory – and rated the intensity of the emotions experienced during the recall of each memory (anger, sadness, fear, happiness, shame and guilt). The latency and duration times of the narratives were also collected. Self-defining memories seemed to be perceived as more intense compared to earliest childhood memories, confirming the strong emotional charge that characterizes these types of memories. Longer duration times of the narratives were also observed for self-defining memories compared to earliest childhood memories. These results lend more support to differences between self-defining and early childhood memories. They also suggest that emotional experiences associated with self-relevant memories constitute the key to the self- and other-understanding in everyday meaningful interactions as well as in a clinical therapeutic setting.
Self-Defining Memory, Earliest Childhood Memory, Emotional Intensity, Subjective Rating
To cite this article
Ornella Montebarocci, Paola Surcinelli, Nicolino Cesare Franco Rossi, Self-Defining and Early Childhood Memories: Subjective Intensity Rating of Memory-Related Emotions, American Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 5, No. 5, 2016, pp. 32-37. doi: 10.11648/j.ajap.20160505.12
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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