Cognitive Psychology

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What do first memories tell us really?-Van der Lubbe/Veldkamp(OMD); 1MA student

Supervisors: dr. Rob van der Lubbe

Results of studies on childhood memories tell us something on the way in which our memories develop through our lives (e.g., see Draaisma, 2001, 2010). Some studies suggest that emotional factors have a major influence on early consolidation, while other studies suggest that the onset of earliest memories strongly depends on the development of verbal skills. Analyses of written reports on first memories are often done by means of textual analyses by one or a few experts. This of course implies the possibility that bias of the expert has a strong influence on the final outcome. Employment of newly developed text mining strategies might be a better and more objective way to asses crucial features of first memories. These analyses may reveal whether these memories change as a function of various factors such as estimated age at the moment of the remembered event, or age at the moment of reporting the event. Goal of the project is to use these analyses on an already existing dataset of more than 600 first memories of 1st year students, and also extend this dataset with first memories in other age groups