Memory & Cognition

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1403–1414 | Cite as

Self-centered memories: The reminiscence bump and the self

  • Clare J. RathboneEmail author
  • Chris J. A. Moulin
  • Martin A. Conway


The self-memory relationship is thought to be bidirectional, in such a way that memories provide context for the self, and equally, the self exercises control over retrieval (Conway, 2005). Autobiographical memories are not distributed equally across the life span; instead, memories peak between ages 10 and 30. This reminiscence bump has been suggested to support the emergence of a stable and enduring self. In the present study, the relationship between memory accessibility and self was explored with a novel methodology that used generation of self images in the form of I am statements. Memories generated from I am cues clustered around the time of emergence for that particular self image. We argue that, when a new self-image is formed, it is associated with the encoding of memories that are relevant to that self and that remain highly accessible to the rememberer later in life. This study offers a new methodology for academics and clinicians interested in the relationship between memory and identity.


Identity Formation Autobiographical Memory Life Story Life Script Dissociative Identity Disorder 
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. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare J. Rathbone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chris J. A. Moulin
    • 1
  • Martin A. Conway
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Psychological SciencesUniversity of LeedsLeedsEngland

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