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Theorists in autobiographical memory (AM) studies generally agree that AMs serve three kinds of broad functions: self-related, social, and directive functions. Although these kinds of functions are probably universal, gender and country variations are expected. The study investigates perceived use of AMs in everyday life. Male and female Danish and Spanish college students were asked to carry a diary and report a sample of naturally occurring instances of AMs. Participants were asked to assess their memories in terms of perceived functions. Results showed some country differences that were consistent with the characterization of Danish and Spanish samples in terms of individualism–collectivism. Some gender differences were also found. These differences, in contrast to our expectations, were limited to the Danes. To interpret it, two main lines of reasoning were proposed. The first was concerned with changes in gender ideology in Spain in the last decades. According to the second, these analyses may lead us to expand the number of broad categories as well as the variety of specific uses of AMs in everyday activities.
- autobiographical memory
- memory functions
Santamaría, A., de la Mata, M., Cubero, M., & Hansen, T. G. B. (2017). What Are Our Personal Memories for? Effects of Gender and Country in Perceived Functions of Everyday Memories in Danish and Spanish College Students. Cross-Cultural Research, 51(4), 360-387. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397116685783