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The end point effect in autobiographical memory: More than a calendar is needed

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The end point effect, an increased frequency of memories from the start and end of a period, may be due to internalised calendar representations or narrative structures. Differential predictions derived from these theories were tested in 3 studies. In Study 1, 104 students recalled 5 memories from a relationship. In Study 2, 106 students recalled 5 memories from their first term and in Study 3, 89 students recalled 3 positive and 3 negative memories from their first term. In all three studies memories were rated on phenomenology, encoding variables and rehearsal. All three studies replicated the endpoint effect, with Study 3 showing a stronger effect for positive memories. The studies showed higher rating for end point memories on phenomenology (Study 1), encoding variables (Studies 1 and 2) and rehearsal (Study 1). Generally, the results support the narrative theory and this is discussed in relation to broader theories of autobiographical memory.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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