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The Autobiographical Self in Time and Culture$
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Qi Wang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737833.001.0001

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The Stories We Keep

The Stories We Keep

(p.61) 3 The Stories We Keep
The Autobiographical Self in Time and Culture

Qi Wang

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues to examine the cultural origins of the autobiographical self as revealed in everyday memories. It argues that working self-goals monitor the processing of personal event information and ensure privileged encoding of and access to confirmatory memories in concert with the needs, motives, and goals prioritized by the culture. Drawing upon empirical research of cultural and cognitive psychology, the chapter shows that memory biases such as egocentricity, beneffectance, and conservatism are specific to the Western cultural contexts that prioritize autonomy and self-enhancement goals, and such biases may not apply to other cultural contexts that prize relatedness and self-improvement goals.

Keywords:   autobiographical memory, self-goals, memory biases, egocentricity, beneffectance, conservatism, autonomy, relatedness, self-enhancement, self-improvement

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