University of Twente Student Theses


First Childhood Memories: Characteristics and Influences

Bossmann, Anna (2013) First Childhood Memories: Characteristics and Influences.

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Abstract:The age of onset and the emotional valence of first childhood memories were examined in the main study. An additional sub study explored the possible influence of language, family composition and the fragmental and episodic qualities of childhood memories. Results showed the mean age to be 4.14 years, which is at the upper margin most studies have reported so far. The emotional valence participants ascribed to their memory depended on the way they were asked to report emotion. Specific valences were mostly negative (e.g. fear), but more general valences were mostly positive. Language emerged, on average, 2.8 years earlier than memories. Neutral memories could be recalled from earlier periods than memories with a negative emotional valence. Fragments emerged on average 7.9 months significantly earlier than episodes. No significant influence was found for household size and siblings. These findings support the view that age of onset and emotional content of first childhood memories are influenced by language and fragmental/episodic quality. Future research should take these factors into account when studying first childhood memories.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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