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Collaborative and autobiographical memory in strangers, friends, siblings and twins
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:14 authored by Amanda Selwood
In this thesis, I investigated how people in different kinds of non-romantic peer relationships remember together and whether this changes according to the kind of remembering they engage in. I aimed to determine whether recalling with a stranger, friend, sibling, or twin influenced the product and process of collaborative remembering, and whether intimacy and shared identity played a role in friends', siblings,' or twins' collaborative remembering. Motivated by the theories of autobiographical memory, shared identity, and transactive memory, my research highlighted the close connections between shared history, shared knowledge, shared identity, intimacy, and collaborative remembering. Across five chapters, I conducted four experiments, one re-analysis of the four experiments, and one case study. Each experiment was designed to determine the impact of the following on the product of collaborative remembering: (1) the relationships between participants, (2) the tasks they performed, and (3) the process of their collaboration. In Chapters 2 and 3, I examined stranger, friend, and sibling dyads' collaborative recall of categorized word lists and self-generated lists of varying degrees of "sharedness". In Chapters 4 and 5, I examined stranger, friend, and sibling dyads' collaborative recall of shared and unshared autobiographical events. In Chapter 6, I aimed to answer the question: are twins special? To do so, I re-analyzed my sibling data from Chapters 2 to 5, comparing twins to other siblings, and reported a case study on a pair of twins and their brother. Across my chapters, I investigated the product and process of collaborative remembering from multiple angles and developed a coding scheme to assess the collaborative processes people used to recall together. Across my thesis, I found that recalling with someone with whom we share history, knowledge, identity, and intimacy has a considerable impact on both the product of recall and the process of collaboration.