Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Belief-related memories: Autobiographical memories of the religious self

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DOI

Autobiographical memories play important roles in the development of the self and identity by grounding the self in rich, meaningful experiences. In the present study, we explored whether there is a specific type of autobiographical memories tied to religious belief; namely, belief-related memories. We compared belief-related memories with important and word-cued memories across five religions. We found belief-related memories were characterised as important, positive, intense, vivid, and frequently retrieved. The characteristics of belief-related memories were markedly different from word-cued memories, and they also differed from important memories on several variables. Compared with important memories, belief-related memories were rated as less prevalent, less important, less scripted, and showed a different distribution across the life span. The temporal distributions of belief-related memories varied across religions and showed no reminiscence bump as opposed to important memories and word-cued memories. Our findings suggest belief-related memories form a distinct category of autobiographical memories, consistent with the self being multidimensional and with different types of memories supporting distinct aspects of the self.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMemory
Volume29
Issue5
Pages (from-to)573-586
Number of pages14
ISSN0965-8211
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Autobiographical memory, belief-related memory, religion, religious identity, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER, EVENTS, RECALL, REMINISCENCE BUMP, CENTRALITY, AMERICAN, CONSTRUCTION, GENDER, IDENTITY FORMATION, LIFE

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