Meaning making during high and low point life story episodes predicts emotion regulation two years later: How the past informs the future

Keith Cox*, Dan P. McAdams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Memory processes are commonly thought to relate to a host of personality systems. The current study specifies a particular way that memory relates to personality. Highly-valenced, identity-rich memories - high and low point episodes in the life story - were analyzed to see if aspects of these memories predicted self-reports of emotion regulation two years later. Meaning making in high and low points predicted emotion regulation. Moreover, valence mattered. Positive meaning making in high and low point stories predicted positive emotion regulation while negative meaning making in low point stories predicted negative emotion regulation. These relationships held while controlling for baseline extraversion, neuroticism, and memory word count. Limitations due to study design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

Keywords

  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional memory
  • Narrative identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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