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Autobiographical Narratives

Definition

Autobiographical narratives are the stories people remember (and often tell) about events in their lives. Some autobiographical narratives refer to memories of important personal events, like “my first date” or “the day my father died.” Others may seem trivial, like a memory of yesterday's breakfast. Many psychologists study the extent to which memories of personal events are accurate. They ask questions like these: How true is the memory? Is the story a distortion of what really happened? Other psychologists are interested in what autobiographical narratives say about a person's self-understanding or about social life and social relationships more generally. Their questions include these: What does a particular memory mean for the person remembering it? How do people use autobiographical narratives in daily life?

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