We also recognize the substantial body of research on the development of autobiographical memory, life stories, and social cognition in childhood and adolescence by such researchers as Qi Wang, Robyn Fivush, Kate McClean, Tilmann Habermas, and others. Such work is not included in this review, however, as we believe that a person first needs a more extended personal past before they can engage in the sophisticated type of looking back that is the focus of the current paper. Looking back at one's personal past in childhood is likely to be qualitatively different than doing so as an adult.
Remembering the Historical Roots of Remembering the Personal Past†
Article first published online: 6 JAN 2014
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 28, Issue 3, pages 290–300, May/June 2014
How to Cite
Bluck, S., Alea, N. and Ali, S. (2014), Remembering the Historical Roots of Remembering the Personal Past. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 28: 290–300. doi: 10.1002/acp.2987
- Issue published online: 6 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 6 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 6 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Received: 11 AUG 2013
As scholars, remembering the historical past in one's area of study provides a foundation for purposefully pursuing knowledge. As individuals, remembering our personal past provides direction and purpose in everyday life. Taken together, these percepts provide the impetus for the current paper, which traces the contributions of six early pioneers who wrote about how humans remember their personal past. Analysis demonstrates how their historical ideas support current literatures focused on the personal past: reminiscence-based mental health interventions, the adaptive psychosocial functions of autobiographical remembering, and the construction of identity as a life story. Three future research directions are also briefly presented: the human ability for mental ‘time travel’, a lifespan approach to remembering the personal past, and reflection on one's past as a route to wisdom. Understanding the human phenomenon of remembering the personal past has long-standing historical roots that continue to stimulate basic and applied research. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.