Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Autobiographical Memory

  • Katherine TysonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1108


Memory; Personal memory; Recollective memory


Autobiographical memory (AM) is the memory of events or information involving the self. Researchers generally conceptualize AM as episodic, as opposed to semantic. AMs are temporally defined (e.g., by the date of the remembered event) and involve a sense of “recollection or reliving” of the original event (Greenberg and Rubin 2003).

Historical Background

Levin et al. (1982) are sometimes credited with originating the term AM. However, AM research dates back to Francis Galton’s 1879 study of his own recall of events in his personal past. Galton sampled his own episodic memories by finding associations between words and events from his past and dating those events. In 1974, Crovitz and Schiffman modified Galton’s technique to create what became a widely used method for studying AM (see Rubin 1999). Their revised technique involved asking participants to think of memories associated with words presented to them. In 1983,...

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References and Readings

  1. Bluck, S. (Ed.). (2003). Autobiographical memory: Exploring its functions in everyday life. [Special issue]. Memory, 11(2), 113–229.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA