Cultural differences in specificity of autobiographical memories: implications for asylum decisions

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Abstract

Current knowledge about cultural differences in the trauma autobiographical memory is limited. Such a limitation reduces the body of empirical evidence that can be drawn upon to inform decisions about asylum. The objective of this study was to explore the impact of cultural differences in self-construal on the specificity of autobiographical memories. Research participants from independent and interdependent cultures were asked to provide autobiographical memories of everyday events, trauma events and self-defining memories. Those from independent cultures consistently provided more specific autobiographical memories than those from interdependent cultures. The findings indicate that specificity has an essential role in enhancing the dominant self-focus and needs to be considered when deeming a memory as credible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453 - 457
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Psychology and Law
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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