Macquarie University
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Autobiographical memory in Thai and Australian emerging adults: a cross-cultural study

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posted on 2022-09-05, 02:46 authored by Nattakarn SomhomNattakarn Somhom

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.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction – 2. Method – 3. Results – 4. Discussion – 5. Conclusion – References -- Appendices


A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie School of Education

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Penny Van Bergen

Additional Supervisor 1

Rebecca Andrews


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




Thailand Australia


82 pages