One bump, two bumps, three bumps, four? Using retrieval cues to divide one autobiographical memory reminiscence bump into many

  • Rubin D
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Abstract

The cues used to elicit autobiographical memories affect the proportion of memories in the bump (e.g., Rubin & Schulkind, 1997a, Figure 3). Koppel and Berntsen (2015) demonstrate that these cues also affect the temporal location of the bump. No one has supported this observation so strongly or used it so thoroughly to probe the theoretical understanding of the bump. Koppel and Berntsen (2015) concentrate on understanding why the bump for important memories occurs when it does. They are less concerned about the bump for word-cued memories, proposing a search based on ‘associative processes’ to explain its location. This is an extremely non-specific mechanism that has been used to refer to involuntary retrieval (Berntsen, 2009 and Berntsen, 2010). I step back from this dichotomy and claim that all autobiographical memories are the result of some retrieval processes and ask about those processes. I accept the Koppel and Berntsen (2015) life-script account for the important memories and concentrate on word and other cues, especially non-verbal sensory cues, that might help clarify the role of cuing autobiographical memories in general and be applied to understanding the difference in the peak age of the bump.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Autobiographical memory
  • Cued recall
  • Lifespan
  • Reminiscence bump

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Authors

  • David C. Rubin

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