Gender Differences in Pleasant, Emotional, Autobiographical Memories
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The purpose of the current study was to characterize autobiographical memory (AM) in terms of its general episodic, emotional, and experiential components in order to examine gender differences in how positive life experiences are remembered. Participants were asked to recall pleasurable memories in response to positive adjectives. For each adjective, participants were asked to write a brief description of the event and rate their memories along a number of dimensions. Significant gender differences in responses were found with core themes of agency and communion; women generated more communal AMs than men. In addition, linear and non-linear analyses of the various qualia associated with positive AMs indicated that men and women also differed in how they remembered positive experiences. The results support the idea that when asked to recall positive events from the past, males and females differ, not only in what they remember, but also in how they remember these experiences.