This study investigated the potential of a circumplex model to represent the functions of both reminiscence and autobiographical memory. Participants from four pre-existing data bases (i.e., Culley, LaVoie, & Gfeller, 2001; Webster, 1997, 2002; Webster & McCall, 1999) were combined, resulting in a total of 985 participants ranging in age from 17 to 96 (M age = 36.63 years). A total of 392 men (39.8%) and 591 women (60.1%), with two persons not reporting their gender, completed the Reminiscence Functions Scale (RFS) as part of the original four studies. The eight RFS factors were submitted to second-order factor analysis resulting in two orthogonal dimensions (self versus social and reactive/loss-oriented versus proactive/growth-oriented) accounting for 79.57% of the variance. Further, multidimensional scaling indicated that the original eight factors could be arranged in a circular fashion such that more closely related (i.e., more highly correlated) factors were placed closer together while factors less highly related were placed further apart. Advantages of a circumplex perspective for future theory and model development are illustrated.
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