Reality Monitoring and Autobiographical Memory: Negotiating the Self
The contemporary study of memory has greatly benefited from recent findings in neuroscience and psychology showing that memory is a highly flexible, contextualized and yet, reliable enough system, composed of different types of functions that overlap to provide an overall balance of accuracy and meaning. Although I discuss some of these findings, my main focus is on putting them into a larger perspective. Memory has been a very important issue in the humanities, literature, and the history of psychology. This paper discusses the importance of inner speech and narrative from a theoretical and historical perspective, interpreting contemporary findings in the light of previous theories of memory, consciousness, and the influence of language on both. Collective memory, different forms of reality monitoring, and the interaction between episodic and autobiographical memory are discussed. Previous views on the suppression and intrusion of memories are also analyzed.