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A dysphoric's TALE: The relationship between the self-reported functions of autobiographical memory and symptoms of depression

Grace, Lydia; Dewhurst, Stephen A.; Anderson, Rachel J.


Lydia Grace


Autobiographical memory (AM) is believed to serve self, social and directive functions; however, little is known regarding how this triad of functions operates in depression. Using the Thinking About Life Experiences questionnaire [Bluck, S., & Alea, N. (2011). Crafting the TALE: Construction of a measure to assess the functions of autobiographical remembering. Memory, 19, 470–486.; Bluck, S., Alea, N., Habermas, T., & Rubin, D. C. (2005). A TALE of three functions: The self–reported uses of autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 23, 91–117.], two studies explored the relationship between depressive symptomology and the self-reported frequency and usefulness of AMs for self, social and directive purposes. Study 1 revealed that thinking more frequently but talking less frequently about past life events was significantly associated with higher depression scores. Recalling past events more frequently to maintain self-continuity was also significantly associated with higher depressive symptomology. However, results from Study 2 indicated that higher levels of depression were also significantly associated with less-frequent useful recollections of past life events for self-continuity purposes. Taken together, the findings suggest atypical utilisations of AM to serve self-continuity functions in depression and can be interpreted within the wider context of ruminative thought processes.


Grace, L., Dewhurst, S. A., & Anderson, R. J. (2016). A dysphoric's TALE: The relationship between the self-reported functions of autobiographical memory and symptoms of depression. Memory, 24(9), 1173-1181.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 13, 2015
Online Publication Date Sep 15, 2015
Publication Date Oct 20, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 4, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Memory
Print ISSN 0965-8211
Electronic ISSN 1464-0686
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 9
Pages 1173-1181
Keywords Depression; Self-continuity; Directive; Social; Usefulness; Reminiscence
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 15/09/2015, available online:


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