'I remember therefore I am, and I am therefore I remember': Exploring the contributions of episodic and semantic self-knowledge to strength of identity

Haslam, Catherine, Jetten, Jolanda, Haslam, S. Alexander, Pugliese, Cara E. and Tonks, James (2011) 'I remember therefore I am, and I am therefore I remember': Exploring the contributions of episodic and semantic self-knowledge to strength of identity. British Journal of Psychology, 102 2: 184-203. doi:10.1348/000712610X508091


Author Haslam, Catherine
Jetten, Jolanda
Haslam, S. Alexander
Pugliese, Cara E.
Tonks, James
Title 'I remember therefore I am, and I am therefore I remember': Exploring the contributions of episodic and semantic self-knowledge to strength of identity
Journal name British Journal of Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0007-1269
2044-8295
Publication date 2011-05-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1348/000712610X508091
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 102
Issue 2
Start page 184
End page 203
Total pages 20
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract The present research explores the relationship between the two components of autobiographical memory - episodic and semantic self-knowledge - and identity strength in older adults living in the community and residential care. Participants (N = 32) completed the autobiographical memory interview and measures of personal identity strength and multiple group memberships. Contrary to previous research, autobiographical memory for all time periods (childhood, early adulthood, and recent life) in the semantic domain was associated with greater strength in personal identity. Further, we obtained support for the hypothesis that the relationship between episodic self-knowledge and identity strength would be mediated by knowledge of personal semantic facts. However, there was also support for a reverse mediation model indicating that a strong sense of identity is associated with semantic self-knowledge and through this may enhance self-relevant recollection. The discussion elaborates on these findings and we propose a self-knowledge and identity model (SKIM) whereby semantic self-knowledge mediates a bidirectional relationship between episodic self-knowledge and identity.
Formatted abstract
The present research explores the relationship between the two components of autobiographical memory – episodic and semantic self-knowledge – and identity strength in older adults living in the community and residential care. Participants (N=32) completed the autobiographical memory interview and measures of personal identity strength and multiple group memberships. Contrary to previous research, autobiographical memory for all time periods (childhood, early adulthood, and recent life) in the semantic domain was associated with greater strength in personal identity. Further, we obtained support for the hypothesis that the relationship between episodic self-knowledge and identity strength would be mediated by knowledge of personal semantic facts. However, there was also support for a reverse mediation model indicating that a strong sense of identity is associated with semantic self-knowledge and through this may enhance self-relevant recollection. The discussion elaborates on these findings and we propose a self-knowledge and identity model (SKIM) whereby semantic self-knowledge mediates a bidirectional relationship between episodic self-knowledge and identity.
Keyword Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY, MULTIDISCIPLINARY
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online before print March 16 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 20 Mar 2012, 06:40:57 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology