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Accuracy and perspective in involuntary autobiographical memory



This study investigated accuracy (veridicality) and perspective (point of view) in everyday involuntary memories (i.e. spontaneous recollections of the past). Using the naturalistic diary method, subjects were asked to give confidence ratings on the accuracy of their involuntary memories as well as contact others who were present in them, having them also give confidence ratings. Memory perspective was assessed by asking subjects to indicate whether their memories had a field (original) or observer (the perspective of another) point of view. The results showed subjects assigning high confidence ratings to involuntary memories, which did not differ from the confidence ratings given by others, or from the confidence ratings that they had assigned to their voluntary memories. The perspective query showed that involuntary memories come with both field and observer perspectives, and that their relative proportions did not differ from those reported for their voluntary memories. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.