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Andreas Roepstorff

Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual

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Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual. / Xygalatas, Dimitris; Schjødt, Uffe; Bulbulia, Joseph; Konvalinka, Ivana; Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt; Roepstorff, Andreas; Reddish, Paul ; Geertz, Armin W.

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture, Vol. 13, No. 1-2, 2013, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Xygalatas, D, Schjødt, U, Bulbulia, J, Konvalinka, I, Jegindø, E-ME, Roepstorff, A, Reddish, P & Geertz, AW 2013, 'Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual', Journal of Cognition and Culture, vol. 13, no. 1-2, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685373-12342081

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Author

Xygalatas, Dimitris ; Schjødt, Uffe ; Bulbulia, Joseph ; Konvalinka, Ivana ; Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt ; Roepstorff, Andreas ; Reddish, Paul ; Geertz, Armin W. / Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual. In: Journal of Cognition and Culture. 2013 ; Vol. 13, No. 1-2. pp. 1-16.

Bibtex

@article{023a1310062211e083f5000ea68e967b,
title = "Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual",
abstract = "Anthropological theories have discussed the effects of participation in high-arousal rituals in the formation of autobiographical memory, proposing that such events produce rich episodic memories. Precise measurements for such effects, however, are lacking. In this study, we examined episodic recall among participants in a highly arousing fire-walking ritual. To assess arousal, we used heart rate measurements. To assess the dynamics of episodic memories, we obtained reports immediately after the fire-walk and two months later. We evaluated memory accuracy from video footage. Immediately after the event, participants{\textquoteright} reports revealed limited recall, low confidence, and high accuracy. Two months later we found more memories, higher confidence, and more errors. Whereas cognitive theories of ritual have predicted flashbulb memories for highly arousing rituals, we found that memories were strongly suppressed immediately after the event and only later evolved confidence and detail. The dissociation between subjective reports and objective measurements of arousal is consistent with a cognitive resource depletion model. We argue that expressive suppression may provide a link between individual memories and cultural understandings of high-arousal rituals.",
author = "Dimitris Xygalatas and Uffe Schj{\o}dt and Joseph Bulbulia and Ivana Konvalinka and Jegind{\o}, {Else-Marie Elmholdt} and Andreas Roepstorff and Paul Reddish and Geertz, {Armin W.}",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1163/15685373-12342081",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
pages = "1--16",
journal = "Journal of Cognition and Culture",
issn = "1567-7095",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "1-2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Autobiographical Memory in a Fire-Walking Ritual

AU - Xygalatas, Dimitris

AU - Schjødt, Uffe

AU - Bulbulia, Joseph

AU - Konvalinka, Ivana

AU - Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt

AU - Roepstorff, Andreas

AU - Reddish, Paul

AU - Geertz, Armin W.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Anthropological theories have discussed the effects of participation in high-arousal rituals in the formation of autobiographical memory, proposing that such events produce rich episodic memories. Precise measurements for such effects, however, are lacking. In this study, we examined episodic recall among participants in a highly arousing fire-walking ritual. To assess arousal, we used heart rate measurements. To assess the dynamics of episodic memories, we obtained reports immediately after the fire-walk and two months later. We evaluated memory accuracy from video footage. Immediately after the event, participants’ reports revealed limited recall, low confidence, and high accuracy. Two months later we found more memories, higher confidence, and more errors. Whereas cognitive theories of ritual have predicted flashbulb memories for highly arousing rituals, we found that memories were strongly suppressed immediately after the event and only later evolved confidence and detail. The dissociation between subjective reports and objective measurements of arousal is consistent with a cognitive resource depletion model. We argue that expressive suppression may provide a link between individual memories and cultural understandings of high-arousal rituals.

AB - Anthropological theories have discussed the effects of participation in high-arousal rituals in the formation of autobiographical memory, proposing that such events produce rich episodic memories. Precise measurements for such effects, however, are lacking. In this study, we examined episodic recall among participants in a highly arousing fire-walking ritual. To assess arousal, we used heart rate measurements. To assess the dynamics of episodic memories, we obtained reports immediately after the fire-walk and two months later. We evaluated memory accuracy from video footage. Immediately after the event, participants’ reports revealed limited recall, low confidence, and high accuracy. Two months later we found more memories, higher confidence, and more errors. Whereas cognitive theories of ritual have predicted flashbulb memories for highly arousing rituals, we found that memories were strongly suppressed immediately after the event and only later evolved confidence and detail. The dissociation between subjective reports and objective measurements of arousal is consistent with a cognitive resource depletion model. We argue that expressive suppression may provide a link between individual memories and cultural understandings of high-arousal rituals.

U2 - 10.1163/15685373-12342081

DO - 10.1163/15685373-12342081

M3 - Journal article

VL - 13

SP - 1

EP - 16

JO - Journal of Cognition and Culture

JF - Journal of Cognition and Culture

SN - 1567-7095

IS - 1-2

ER -