An item response theory/confirmatory factor analysis of the autobiographical memory test

James W. Griffith, Jennifer A. Sumner, Elise Debeer, Filip Raes, Dirk Hermans, Susan Mineka, Richard E. Zinbarg, Michelle G. Craske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) is used to assess the degree of specificity of autobiographical memory. The AMT usually contains cue words of both positive and negative valence, but it is unclear whether these valences form separate factors or not. Accordingly, confirmatory factor analysis assessed whether the AMT measures one overall factor, or whether different cue types are related to different factors. Results were consistent across three datasets (N = 333, N = 405, and N = 336). A one-factor model fitted each dataset well, which suggests that responses to positive and negative cues are related to the one construct. In addition, item response theory analyses showed that the AMT is most precise for people who score low on memory specificity. Implications for using the AMT with high-functioning samples are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-623
Number of pages15
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Autobiographical memory
  • Emotional valence
  • Factor analysis
  • Item response theory
  • Overgeneral memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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