Cultural differences in retrieval of self-defining memories

Laura Jobson, Richard O'Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Australians and Asians were asked to provide autobiographical memories of events they believe shaped who they are as individuals (self-defining memories). The authors found the anticipated cultural differences for the memories' themes. Contrary to previous suggestions, however, elaboration of personal memories occurred equally for both groups and was dependent on the content of the memory. Australians provided more elaborate autonomous memories and Asians more elaborate relatedness memories. The findings indicate that elaborating personal memories may function to enhance the dominant self-focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Autobiographical memory
  • Cultural orientation
  • Memory elaboration
  • Self

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