Remembering and telling self-consistent and self-discrepant memories

Mutlutürk A., Tekcan A. İ.

Memory, vol.24, no.4, pp.513-525, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1021256
  • Journal Name: Memory
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.513-525
  • Keywords: Autobiographical memory, Self-defining memory, Self-consistent, Self-discrepant
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


It has been argued that memories that are inconsistent with one's self would differ from those that are consistent with the self. The present study addresses retrieval, phenomenology, rehearsal and narrative characteristics of autobiographical memories that are consistent versus discrepant with one's self. One hundred participants were asked to recall one self-consistent and one self-discrepant memory as well as an episode of telling these memories to others. They also filled out the Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire and the Centrality of Event Scale for each memory. Results showed no difference between self-consistent and self-discrepant memories in retrieval time, specificity or phenomenology. However, self-discrepant memory narratives contained more meaning-making statements and less autonomy than self-consistent memories. Compared to self-consistent memories, self-discrepant memories were told to fewer people, and listener responses were more negative when they were told. Results are discussed in relation to the functions these memories serve.