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Department of Cognitive Science

Seminar Abstract

Autobiographical memories in non-WEIRD populations.

Speaker : Associate Professor Annette Bohn, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences - Con Amore, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Date : 22nd of March 2017, 11:00AM until 12:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

    Autobiographical memory research is usually conducted with so-called WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic) populations. Cross-cultural studies also usually compare equally well-educated populations. The study presented here is part of a larger research project studying autobiographical memories in Non-WEIRD populations: The Ik from Uganda, and the Nunggubuyu from Numbuluwar, Australia. In this talk, I will briefly describe the background of the project and present data from the Ik. Seventy-nine participants (22% female, Mage=41.8; SD=17.2) described their seven most important memories, dated these memories and rated them on valence. Memories of the Ik differed greatly from important memories found in WEIRD populations: participants recalled a higher percentage of negative memories, 45.5% of memory descriptions included a reference to a specific year, and only 25% of memories were strictly personal. Most memory descriptions dealt with the impact of famine, and political and military conflict on personal lives.

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