Memory & Cognition

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 516–531 | Cite as

Flashbulb memories and the underlying mechanisms of their formation: Toward an emotional-integrative model

  • Catrin Finkenauer
  • Olivier Luminet
  • Lydia Gisle
  • Abdessadek El-Ahmadi
  • Martial Van Der Linden
  • Pierre Philippot


Flashbulb memories (FBMs) are detailed recollections of the context in which people first heard about important events. The present study investigates three models of the formation and maintenance of FBM. Two models have previously been proposed in the literature (Brown & Kulik, 1977; Conway et al., 1994). A third model of FBM that integrates theories of FBM and recent developments in the field of emotions is proposed. The present study compares these three competing models by investigating the FBMs that Belgian citizens developed upon learning of the unexpected death of their king Baudouin. Structural equation modeling revealed that, as compared to the two previously proposed models, the third model, which takes into account emotional processes, better explains FBM.


Comprehensive Model Autobiographical Memory Original Event Feeling State Affective Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catrin Finkenauer
    • 1
  • Olivier Luminet
    • 1
  • Lydia Gisle
    • 1
  • Abdessadek El-Ahmadi
    • 2
  • Martial Van Der Linden
    • 2
  • Pierre Philippot
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  3. 3.University of LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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