The procedure in this study of autobiographical memory after forty years had three phases: uncued recall of experiences of 1978 to 1980, recall cued by descriptions made in 1979 of selected events, and recall cued by a diary written between 1978 and 1980. The schema theory of autobiographical memory describes memory of individual experiences as embedded in longer extended events. In uncued recall in 2019 all bar one of the extended events later found in the diary were remembered, with approximate dates and extents. Few specific episodes that occurred outside an extended event were recalled. In cued recall, characteristics of episodes associated with recall were rarity, vividness, and emotional intensity, and to a lesser extent importance to self. There was no difference between recall of pleasant and unpleasant episodes.
- autobiographical memory
- extended events