The phenomenology and temporal distributions of autobiographical memories elicited with emotional and neutral cue words
In this study we examined whether the temporal distribution of autobiographical memory changes when different types of cue words are used to elicit the memories, and how the type of cue word affects the phenomenal characteristics of the memories. A total of 76 participants, ranging in age from 21 to 69 years, were presented with 22 cue words (emotional, emotion-provoking, and neutral). They were asked to recall a personal event and to complete the Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire (Rubin, Schrauf, & Greenberg, 2003, 2004) for each cue word. Results showed that the phenomenological properties of autobiographical memories which were cued with emotional and emotion-provoking words were rated higher than those of memories which were cued with neutral words, and that the peak in the temporal distributions of the autobiographical memories that were cued with emotional or emotion-provoking words were located later than the peak of the distribution of the memories that were cued with neutral words.