How Sharing Different Types of Memories Affects Relationship Closeness: A Cross-Cultural Study
Memory sharing has been frequently suggested to use for developing relationship closeness, especially autobiographical memory. The present study investigated whether sharing different types of memories, personal or vicarious, specific or generic, would have any difference in the effects on developing relationship closeness. In addition, the cultural effect, whether the subjects were Euro-Americans or Asians, are tested in the study. Participants (n=481) were presented with 10 scenarios of five types of conservation contents (conversations involving general personal memory, specific personal memory, general vicarious memory, specific vicarious memory, and non-person information) followed by several questions testing the degree of closeness to the hypothetical character in each scenario. This study provides evidence that the protagonist of memory influences the effect of developing closeness, and there is also an interaction between the specificity of memory and the identity of the protagonist in memory. Moreover, Asian participants are more likely than Euro-American participants to feel closer to people who shared the same memories. These findings substantiate the conceptual model of social function of autobiographical memory and contribute to understanding cultural impacts on the association between memory sharing and relationship closeness.
Psychology; culture; Memory; Memory functions; Relationship; Autobiographical Memory
Loeckenhoff, Corinna E.
M.A., Human Development
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis