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ERIC Number: EJ830729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 92
ISSN: ISSN-0165-0254
Autobiographical Memory Sharing in Everyday Life: Characteristics of a Good Story
Baron, Jacqueline M.; Bluck, Susan
International Journal of Behavioral Development, v33 n2 p105-117 2009
Storytelling is a ubiquitous human activity that occurs across the lifespan as part of everyday life. Studies from three disparate literatures suggest that older adults (as compared to younger adults) are (a) less likely to recall story details, (b) more likely to go off-target when sharing stories, and, in contrast, (c) more likely to receive "higher" global story quality ratings. No previous research has investigated these three related constructs in a single study. In addition, previous work has not examined the type of story most commonly told in everyday life: episodic autobiographical memories. Thus, to investigate story characteristics using ecologically valid materials, the current study examined autobiographical memory stories and fictional stories (as a comparison) recalled by younger and older adults. These were content-coded for level of detail and off-target responding, and also evaluated for global quality by layperson raters. Results show age and also gender differences in level of detail, amount of off-target responding, and global story quality across story types. Additional analyses show that level of detail, and personal significance of the memory (not person characteristics such as age and gender), are the best predictors of global story quality in autobiographical memory stories. (Contains 5 footnotes, 1 figure, and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A