Motive-Related Memories: Content, Structure, and Affect



Two studies tested hypotheses on the content and structure of autobiographical memories and the affect linked to them. In Study 1, agentic and communal-motivated individuals recorded their most memorable experiences and completed the PANAS each day for 6 weeks. Memories were coded for content and structure. Agentics and communals reported more motive congruent memories, and their congruent memories were structured using more differentiation and integration, respectively. In addition, agentics had slightly higher PA and lower NA scores. In Study 2, agentics and communals recalled an event pertaining to either social separation or connection and then completed an affect measure of agentic and communal items. Agentics recalled more agentic memories in the separation condition and communals recalled more communal memories in the connection condition. Complexity analyses showed that agentics and communals used differentiation and integration respectively to recall their motive- congruent memories. The affect data showed a modest predicted pattern. Results suggest that implicit motives have an impact on autobiographical memory but are not as clearly related to self-report affect measures, possibly due to method variance.