Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Smock says cohabitation does not reduce odds of marriage

Smock cited in story on how low marriage rates may exacerbate marriage-status economic inequality

Frey says low turnover in House members related to lack of voter turnout among moderates

Highlights

Susan Murphy named Distinguished University Professor

Sarah Burgard and former PSC trainee Jennifer Ailshire win ASA award for paper

James Jackson to be appointed to NSF's National Science Board

ISR's program in Society, Population, and Environment (SPE) focuses on social change and social issues worldwide.

Next Brown Bag


PSC Brown Bags will return in the fall

Living in History: How War, Terrorism, and Natural Disaster Affect the Organization of Autobiographical Memory

Publication Abstract

Brown, Norman R., Peter J. Lee, Mirna Krslak, Frederick G. Conrad, Tia G. B Hansen, Jelena Havelka, and John R. Reddon. 2009. "Living in History: How War, Terrorism, and Natural Disaster Affect the Organization of Autobiographical Memory." Psychological Science, 20(4): 399-405.

Memories of war, terrorism, and natural disaster play a critical role in the construction of group identity and the persistence of group conflict. Here, we argue that personal memory and knowledge of the collective past become entwined only when public events have a direct, forceful, and prolonged impact on a population. Support for this position comes from a cross-national study in which participants thought aloud as they dated mundane autobiographical events. We found that Bosnians often mentioned their civil war and that Izmit Turks made frequent reference to the 1999 earthquake in their country. In contrast, public events were rarely mentioned by Serbs, Montenegrins, Ankara Turks, Canadians, Danes, or Israelis. Surprisingly, historical references were absent from (post-September 11) protocols collected in New York City and elsewhere in the United States. Taken together, these findings indicate that it is personal significance, not historical importance, that determines whether public events play a role in organizing autobiographical memory.

DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02307.x (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next