2015 Volume 26 Issue 1 Pages 70-77
This study examined how autobiographical remembering affects the achievement of self and identity. Participants (N＝231) completed an identity scale (Shimoyama, 1992) that assessed their level of self/identity development. They were next asked to recall an autobiographical memory of high- or low-level importance and to rate these memories based on 5 items pertaining to memory characteristics (e.g., vividness) and 13 items from the Centrality of Event Scale (Berntsen & Rubin, 2006, 2007). The identity scale was then completed again. The group that recalled an autobiographical episode with high-level importance had higher post-test identity scale scores than the group that recalled an episode with low-level importance. However, differences in the identity scale scores between the two groups were not observed in the pretest. In addition, autobiographical memories of high-level importance were more emotional, positive, vivid, frequently remembered, and related to self/identity achievement than were memories of low-level importance. The importance of autobiographical memory as a facilitator of self and identity achievement will be further examined in future research.