Retrospective Reports

Retrospective reports are self-reported verbal recollections of perceived psychological states, physical sensations, behaviors, situations, actions, or events in the past according to the memory of the informant. This method of data collection has been used extensively in various research domains, including psychology, given that it is the only method to examine one’s internal perceptions and well-being. Despite its popularity in psychological research, doubt has been cast on the validity of retrospective reports due to their uncertainty and limitations over the past several decades. When respondents are asked to report on the past, particularly on extended time periods in the past, their recollections often become blurry with high rates of biases and errors. Reasons that have been attributed to inaccurate recall include oversimplification or rationalization, memory ...

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