Qi Wang

Qi Wang
Cornell University | CU · Department of Human Development

Harvard University PhD
memory & social media, memory for COVID-19, collective future thinking, temporal moral reasoning, culture & mind

About

192
Publications
135,138
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Introduction
Qi Wang is professor of human development, psychology, and cognitive science at Cornell University. Wang’s research examines the mechanisms underlying the development of a variety of cognitive and social-cognitive skills in the context of culture, focusing particularly on autobiographical memory. She has also pioneered research to examine the impact of the Internet and social media as a cultural force on autobiographical memory and psychosocial functioning.

Publications

Publications (192)
Article
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I call the attention of psychologists to the pivotal role of cultural psychology in extending and enriching research programs. I argue that it is not enough to simply acknowledge the importance of culture and urge psychologists to practice cultural psychology in their research. I deconstruct five assumptions about cultural psychology that seriously...
Article
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Episodic memory for specific personal events is a fundamental human cognitive faculty. Yet it is variably valued across cultures and may thus have different implications for psychological well-being. In a series of studies, we investigated the consequences of cultural fit in detailed episodic recall for psychological well-being among healthy adults...
Article
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Human memory, as a product of the mind and brain, is inherently private and personal. Yet, arising from the interaction between the organism and its ecology in the course of phylogeny and ontogeny, human memory is also profoundly collective and cultural. In this review, I discuss the cultural foundation of human memory. I start by briefly reflectin...
Article
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I propose a triangular theory of self to characterise the sense of selfhood in the era of social media. According to the theory, the self in the social media era comprises the represented self that is located in the private mind of the person, the registered self that is presented on social media platforms, and the inferred self that is constructed...
Book
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This special issue of Developmental Review calls for the establishment of a cultural developmental science to understand the complexity and dynamics of human psychology and behavior. It highlights the importance that cultural psychological research needs to underscore developmental processes on the one hand and that developmental research needs to...
Article
The authors added missing author address and ORCID information to their article. Link to the article: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/360331866_What_Lies_Ahead_of_Us_Collective_Future_Thinking_in_Turkish_Chinese_and_Americans
Article
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Moral observer-licensing happens when observers condone actors’ morally questionable con-ducts due to the actors’ history of moral behaviors. We investigated in four studies (N = 808) this phenomenon in the context of cyberspace and its contributing factors and boundary conditions. The pilot study determined what participants perceived as typically...
Article
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Collective future thinking, namely, the anticipation of events for a group, is a relatively new research area in memory studies. Research to date with predominantly Western populations suggests that people tend to expect negative events for their country’s future. In two studies, we investigated the emotional valence and perceived control of antici...
Article
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This special issue brings together the scholarship that advances our knowledge on remembering in the age of the Internet and social media. The studies reported in the ten articles address diverse topics in three broad areas prominent in current research: offloading memory and the associated costs, benefits, and boundary conditions, autobiographical...
Preprint
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Moral observer-licensing happens when people condone others' morally questionable conducts due to their history of moral behaviors. We investigated in four studies (N = 808) this phenomenon in the context of cyberspace and its contributing factors and boundary conditions. Study 1 determined what participants perceived as typically moral and immoral...
Chapter
Research has demonstrated the crucial role of culture in shaping how the self is represented and how autobiographical event information is organized, retained, and retrieved. Specifically, the style, accuracy, content, emergence, and general accessibility of autobiographical memories in children and adults have been found to vary across cultures, w...
Article
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The present study compared ways of storytelling in Western and Asian literature. Content analysis was performed on Amazon.com and New York Times best-selling fictions and memoirs (N = 102) by Western and Asian authors. Although authors of the two cultural groups described similar numbers of event episodes per chapter, Western authors depicted the e...
Method
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I present here a scale, "Things about memory," to assess the metacognitive knowledge of the functions of autobiographical memory. It consists of 13 statements about why people think about and share their personal memories, which are derived from prior research both within a single culture and across different cultural groups. The scale has an adult...
Article
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Social media has become one of the most powerful and ubiquitous means by which individuals curate and share their life stories with the world at large. Not surprisingly then, researchers have started to examine the reasons why individuals post personal memories on social media and said individuals’ characteristics. Across two studies, we extended t...
Article
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Current understanding of visual perspectives (i.e., first person vs third person) in mental time travel and their relations to psychological well-being is largely based on research with Western populations. To examine whether culture moderates the processes, we asked European American (EA) and Asian or Asian American (AA) college students to recall...
Article
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The present research examined the effects of sharing different types of memories on perceived relationship closeness and how that is related to psychological well-being in a cross-cultural context. In two studies, European American and Asian participants (total N = 714) reported their feelings of closeness to a conversation partner in hypothetical...
Article
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The present study examined the longitudinal relation between mother–child reminiscing of emotionally negative events and children’s mental health. European-American and Chinese-American mothers discussed with their 4.5-year-old children an event that was emotionally negative to the child. At age 7, children’s mental health was assessed, including m...
Article
The development of autobiographical memory is a culturally constructive process in which children learn to remember and share their personal experiences in culture-specific ways. In this article, I present a theoretical model that situates children’s independent recall and joint reminiscing with parents in the cultural context. Built on cross-cultu...
Preprint
The current study examined the impact of social media as a retrieval context (in contrast to private recall) on the retention of autobiographical memory. At session 1, participants (N = 177) generated recent life events in response to cue words and then described the event details as if they were writing about the events either on WeChat or in thei...
Article
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The current study examined the impact of social media as a retrieval context (in contrast to private recall) on the retention of autobiographical memory. At session 1, participants (N = 177) generated recent life events in response to cue words and then described the event details as if they were writing about the events either on WeChat or in thei...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present study examined the longitudinal relation between mother-child reminiscing of emotionally negative events and children’s mental health. European-American and Chinese-American mothers discussed with their 4.5-year old children an event that was emotionally negative to the child. At age 7, children’s mental health was assessed, including m...
Article
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Air pollution has been shown to have detrimental effects on physical and mental health, yet little is known about how air pollution affects psychosocial functioning in everyday life. We conducted three studies that utilized experimental methods and web crawler technology to examine the ef-fect of hazy environmental conditions on perceived interpers...
Article
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Gender differences in autobiographical memory have been reported in many studies using narrative coding of features including emotion word use, connectedness to others, and event specific details, with women using more of these narrative features than men. The current pair of studies explored if these narrative tendencies are linked to a sense of s...
Article
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Although previous studies have documented that relational victimization serves as a risk factor for depressive symptoms across developmental periods, heterogeneity in effects highlights the possibility that some individuals may be especially vulnerable. This study examined two factors that may influence the link between relational victimization and...
Method
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A scale to assess parental reactions to children’s positive emotions (Song, Yang, Doan, & Wang, 2019). Both English and Chinese versions of the scale are provided here.
Method
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Task to assess children's emotion situation knowledge.
Article
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Cultural experiences can influence how people attend to different emotional cues. Whereas semantic content explicitly describes feelings, vocal tone conveys implicit information regarding emotions. This cross-cultural study examined children's attention to emotional cues in spoken words. The sample consisted of 121 European American (EA) and 120 Ch...
Preprint
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This document provides a description of the Emotion Judgment Task that was developed and used by Qi Wang and her Culture & Cognition Lab at Cornell.
Article
In collaborative memory research, effects of ethnic diversity have not been reported despite the prevalence of ethnically diverse versus uniform groups in everyday collaborations. We compared these groups to examine three key phenomena: the counterintuitive effect known as collaborative inhibition, the more intuitive, downstream memory benefits of...
Article
Cultural differences in autobiographical memories are linked to differences in self-understanding and well-being. This study investigated how vicarious memories of family events, expressed in intergenerational narratives, are also important for well-being. New Zealand adolescents (N = 263) from three cultural groups (Chinese, Ma ̄ori, and European;...
Article
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Human memory entails an active transaction between the mind and the reality that takes place in the larger cultural context. There has been an increasing awareness among memory researchers of the pervasive and dynamic influences of culture on mnemonic processes and consequences (for a recent review, see Wang, 2021). Yet, despite advances made parti...
Method
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I describe in this article the creation of the Purposes of Online Memory Sharing Scale (POMSS). I provide an overview of the theoretical and empirical backgrounds against which the scale was developed. I then present data from a pilot sample that indicate that the scale as a whole is a reliable measure of the reasons for which people share their ex...
Article
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Biases perpetuate when people think that they are innocent whereas others are guilty of biases. We examined whether people would detect biased thinking and behavior in others but not themselves as influenced by preexisting beliefs (myside bias) and social stigmas (social biases). The results of three large studies showed that, across demographic gr...
Article
Everyday experience is divided into meaningful events as a part of human perception. Current accounts of this process, known as event segmentation, focus on how characteristics of the experience (e.g., situation changes) influence segmentation. However, characteristics of the viewers themselves have been largely neglected. We test whether one such...
Article
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Social distancing worries Americans. Yale professor Nicholas Christakis warns that it asks us “to suppress our profoundly human and evolutionarily hard-wired impulses for connection,” for example. And journalist Greg Miller and others cite possible ramifications that include “heart disease, depression, dementia, and even death.” In striking contras...
Article
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This study examined mother–child discussion of children’s peer experiences in cultural contexts and its relation to children’s relational self-concepts. In all, 70 European American (EA) and Chinese immigrant mothers (CI) and their 9- to 11-year-old children were interviewed twice at home, with an interval of 1 year. During each interview, mothers...
Article
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People tend to perceive themselves more favourably than others, but the degree to which individuals exhibit this bias may be influenced by cultural upbringing. Korean ( n = 271) and American ( n = 503) participants were asked to evaluate current and future health expectations for themselves and others. Results showed that American participants rate...
Chapter
Our previous studies have consistently shown a telescoping error in children’s dating of earliest childhood memories. Preschool children through adolescents systematically date their earliest memories at older ages, in comparison with the age estimates provided by their parents or by themselves previously. In the current study, we examined the dati...
Chapter
This book brings together scholarship that contributes diverse and new perspectives on childhood amnesia – the scarcity of memories for very early life events. The topics of the studies reported in the book range from memories of infants and young children for recent and distant life events, to mother–child conversations about memories for extende...
Book
Full-text available
This book brings together scholarship that contributes diverse and new perspectives on childhood amnesia – the scarcity of memories for very early life events. The topics of the studies reported in the book range from memories of infants and young children for recent and distant life events, to mother–child conversations about memories for extended...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present study investigated in a cross-cultural context whether sharing different types of memories would differentially influence perceived relationship closeness and how that, in turn, was related to psychological well-being. Participants (N = 410) from European American and Asian cultural backgrounds reported their feelings of closeness to a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biases perpetuate when people think that they are innocent whereas others are guilty of biases. We examined whether people would detect biased thinking and behavior in others but not themselves as influenced by preexisting beliefs (myside bias) and social stigmas (social biases). The results of three large studies showed that, across demographic gr...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the relations between maternal reactions to children’s negative emotions and children’s socio-emotional outcomes, including psychological adjustment, emotion knowledge, and coping strategies. European American and Chinese immigrant mothers reported on their reactions to children’s ( N = 117, M = 7.14 years) negative emotions and...
Article
Full-text available
Our previous studies have consistently shown a telescoping error in children’s dating of earliest childhood memories. Preschool children through adolescents systematically date their earliest memories at older ages, in comparison with the age estimates provided by their parents or by themselves previously. In the current study, we examined the dati...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined in cultural contexts maternal reactions to children’s positive emotions and the relations to children’s socio-emotional outcomes. European American (EA) and Chinese immigrant (CI) mothers reported their reactions to children’s (N = 117, M = 7.14 years) positive emotions. Children were interviewed for emotion knowledge and mother...
Article
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Emotion, although deeply rooted in biological and evolutionary origins and widely shared across species and cultures (Darwin 1965; Ekman and Friesen 1971), is cul- turally conditioned in its experience, expression, recognition, and regulation (Mat- sumoto and Hwang 2019; Yang and Wang 2019). Understanding the developmental origins of cultural influ...
Chapter
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This chapter outlines a cultural dynamic theory as the framework to understand and predict the effects of cultural variables on the organization of autobiographical memory. The theory posits that autobiographical memory takes place in the dynamic transaction between an active individual and his or her changing environment; it is situated in cultura...
Chapter
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Research on emotional development has been primarily focused on children from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic backgrounds. However, cultural beliefs and norms play an important role in the acceptability of children’s emotional expressions and emotion-related behaviors. In this chapter, we first provide a brief overview of ho...
Article
Episodic thinking is involved in the representation of specific personal events occurring at a particular time and place. Although a fundamental human cognitive faculty directly associated with neurocognitive functioning, episodic thinking and its development is subject to sociocultural experiences. This study integrated experimental and longitudin...
Preprint
Continuous sensory experience is divided into meaningful events as a part of human perception. Current accounts of this process, known as event segmentation, have focused on how it is influenced by characteristics of the experience, such as changes in the situation, or its similarity to prior experiences. However, characteristics of the viewers the...
Chapter
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At a kindergarten in Beijing, a researcher is playing a game of storytelling with a child,“Winter is coming. Wild geese are leaving for the South. Before they leave, the goose leader tells everybody that the journey will be full of dangers. So everyone should fly closely together. A little goose says to herself,‘Flying together will be very slow. I...
Book
Human cognition is not simply a product of the mind or brain but a process of adaptation to the socio-ecological environment. One environmental influence that has profound effects on human cognition is culture - the systems of shared meaning and shared practice that cohere social groups. Indeed, a growing body of research has identified important c...
Book
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Emotional development, mediated by early socialization practices, is deeply situated in a variety of cultural settings and experiences from which children learn to understand, experience, and regulate their emotions in ways favored by their culture. This special issue of Culture and Brain (Volume 7, issue 2) brings together the scholarship of a gro...
Article
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This research examined the relations of social media addiction to college students' mental health and academic performance, investigated the role of self-esteem as a mediator for the relations, and further tested the effectiveness of an intervention in reducing social media addiction and its potential adverse outcomes. In Study 1, we used a survey...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue brings together the scholarship that contributes diverse new perspectives on childhood amnesia – the scarcity of memories for very early life events. The topics of the studies reported in the special issue range from memories of infants and young children for recent and distant life events, to mother–child conversations about mem...
Article
Full-text available
This editorial provides an overview of the papers presented in this special issue of Developmental Review. This issue calls for the establishment of a cultural developmental science to understand the complexity and dynamics of human psychology and behavior. It highlights the importance that cultural psychological research needs to underscore develo...
Article
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This study examined in a cross-cultural context the prospective relation between children’s emotion knowledge and internalizing problems. European American (N = 33) and immigrant Chinese children (N = 22) and their mothers participated. Children’s emotion knowledge was assessed at three-and-a-half years of age using a task to elicit their understan...
Article
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This study examined the consistency of memories for the same events in mothers and children, and how that varied as a function of culture and organizational components of memories. European American (EA) and Chinese immigrant (CI) mothers and their 6-year-old children (N = 127) independently recalled two emotionally salient events. In both cultures...
Article
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Social media has become one of the most powerful and ubiquitous means by which individuals curate, share, and communicate information with their friends, family, and the world at large. Indeed, 90% of the American adolescents are active social media users, as well as 65% of American adults (Perrin, 2015; see also Duggan & Brenner, 2013). Despite th...
Article
We investigated the role of mothers’ references to mental states and behaviors and children’s emotion situation knowledge (ESK) in a prospective, cross-cultural context. European American mothers (n = 71) and Chinese immigrant mothers (n = 60) and their children participated in the study. Maternal references to mental states and behaviors were asse...
Article
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This study examined children’s narrative representations of peer experiences in cultural contexts and its concurrent and long-term relations to psychological adjustment. Thirty-four European American and 30 Chinese immigrant 9-10 years old children completed a narrative task to tell stories based on two scenario stems. Children’s peer-related self-...
Chapter
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process and further give rise to cultural differences in FBM. In particular, means of information transmission across cultures, including newly developed communication technologies, may introduce variations in how and what types of public event news individuals receive. Cultural variables may further operate on the individual processes of perceivin...
Chapter
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Approximately 85 years ago, in a social psychology laboratory at Cambridge University, psychologist Frederic Bartlett was testing the memories of his “educated and rather sophisticated” participants of an English background–Cambridge students. He was interested in social influences on the transformations or reconstructions of material in memory. He...
Chapter
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Recent research indicates that people from multiracial backgrounds may have more malleable racial identification than those with monoracial backgrounds. For multiracial individuals, context may play an important role in racial self-identification. An Asian/White biracial person, for example, might identify more as Asian when around other Asian peop...
Chapter
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With rapid economic growth, the parent–child relations in Chinese families have shifted from an emphasis on material reciprocity to an emphasis on psychological interdependence. Western academia and media tend to believe that interdependence is associated with economic hardship and to view individualism as the end of family transformation. However,...
Article
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I discuss the critical importance of putting culture in the middle in judging scholarly merit in psychological science. I describe the challenges in evaluating cultural research, pointing out the various ways that ethnocentric judgments undermine the scientific merit of cultural research and the consequences of the marginalization of culture in psy...
Article
This study examined the extent to which school-aged children’s general narrative skills provide cognitive benefits for accurate remembering, or enable good storytelling that undermines memory accuracy. European-American and Chinese-American 6-year-old boys and girls (N = 114) experienced a staged event in the laboratory, and were asked to tell a st...
Article
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Narrative entails an active act of sense making through which individuals discern meaning from their experiences in line with their cultural expectations. In this article, we outline a theoretical model to demonstrate that narrative can be simultaneously used to examine cognitive processes underlying remembering on the one hand and to study the pro...
Article
This study explored links between narrative identity, personality traits, and well-being for 263 adolescents (age 12-21) from three New Zealand cultures: Māori, Chinese, and European. Turning-point narratives were assessed for autobiographical reasoning (causal coherence), local thematic coherence, emotional expressivity, and topic. Across cultures...
Article
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Internet technology provides a new means of recalling and sharing personal memories in the digital age. What is the mnemonic consequence of posting personal memories online? Theories of transactive memory and autobiographical memory would make contrasting predictions. In the present study, college students completed a daily diary for a week, listin...
Article
This study examined individual factors contributing to online shaming, a recent phenomenon where people engage in social policing by shaming transgressions using the Internet technology. It focused on the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and the belief in a just world (BJW). A sample of 245 city employees in Nanjing, China participated in the...
Article
Adolescents’ intergenerational narratives—the stories they tell about their mothers’ and fathers’ early experiences—are an important component of their identities (Fivush & Merrill, 2016; Merrill & Fivush, 2016). This study explored adolescents’ intergenerational narratives across cultures. Adolescents aged 12 to 21 from 3 cultural groups in New Ze...
Article
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A few months ago, I met with a new colleague of mine who does brilliant research on perception. Hearing about my interest in culture, she admitted that she never looked at culture or gender in her research because she studies basic perceptual processes that are not supposed to differ across human groups. I told her about the many exciting findings...
Article
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People from different cultures often tell diverse stories about their past experiences. Research in the past two decades has revealed systematic differences in the content (self-focus vs other-focus), structure (specific vs general), valence (positive vs negative), accessibility (memory density and detailedness), developmental origin (age and densi...
Article
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Emotion knowledge contributes to emotion regulation and coping among adults, but few studies have investigated its role in children’s coping development, especially in a cross-cultural context. We examine relations between children’s emotion knowledge and coping in European American and Chinese immigrant families. One hundred and three 7- to 10-yea...
Article
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This study investigated the relation between narrative skill and eyewitness memory in young children from low-socioeconomic status (SES) communities. A total of 176 children aged 3-5 years were interviewed about a conflict event they witnessed. The quality of their narratives about the event and their ability to narrate a story from a picture book...
Article
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Childhood amnesia has been attributed to the inaccessibility of early memories as children grow older. We propose that systematic biases in the age estimates of memories may play a role. A group of 4- to 9-year-old children were followed for 8 years, recalling and dating their earliest childhood memories at three time points. Although children reta...
Article
The development of autobiographical memory is foreshadowed by many early prerequisite skills. It is not an all-or-none phenomenon but involves a gradual incremental process. Young children's memories are initially fragmentary and incoherent. Over the preschool years, their memories show increasing endurance, temporal coherence, complexity, and elab...
Article
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This study examined among school-aged children the role of the self in perceived valence changes from the past to the future. Nine- to 11-year-old children (N=57) recalled positive and negative personal events of various situations and imagined a future personal event involving the same situation following each recall. Children's self-knowledge was...