Autobiographical memory in Thai and Australian emerging adults: a cross-cultural study
The purpose of this research was to examine cultural differences in emerging adults’ autobiographical memory by comparing how young Thai and Australian adults remember salient life events. This project used a quantitative research design and collected data through a Qualtrics online survey. Forty young Thai adults (20 females, 20 males) aged 18–24 residing in Thailand and 40 young Australian adults (23 females, 17 males) aged 18–24 residing in Australia were recruited. In this cross-cultural study, ‘The Life Story’ interview (McAdam, 2008) was adapted to capture aspects of memory coherence and meaning making from three salient life events: a high-point, a low-point and a turning-point. Using a mixed ANOVA test, with culture and gender as independent variables, two aspects of autobiographical memory were coded: (1) narrative coherence (context, chronology and theme) and (2) meaning making (lesson learning and gaining insight). The results showed that Thais had higher chronological coherence than the Australians. In contrast, however, the Australians had higher scores for meaning making, particularly for gaining insight.