Title: Development of autobiographical memory, self, and emotion knowledge

Major Contributors: Qi Wang
Lab (s) Name (s):Social Cognition Development Lab
URL: http://www.human.cornell.edu/HD/socialcognition/
Coverage (countries): China
Languages: Chinese, English
Date: 2000-Present


  1. GENERAL PROJECT DESCRIPTION
    My research interests are at the intersection of cognitive and social development, focusing on the development of autobiographical memory. Specifically, my research encompasses developmental, cognitive, and sociocultural perspectives to explore the mechanisms for the offset of infantile amnesia and the development of autobiographical memory. I am particularly interested in the relationship between autobiographical memory and the self as they develop across the lifecourse and in the context of culture. Together with my collaborators, I have conducted studies to examine how cultural self-constructs sustain autobiographical remembering by affecting information processing at the level of the individual and by shaping social practices of remembering between individuals (e.g., sharing memory narratives between parents and children). These studies illustrate that constructs of the self differ across cultures as a function of the social orientations, cultural values, and narrative environments in which children are raised. In turn, such differences in self-construct have powerful effects on the structure, content, and long-term accessibility of autobiographical memories.


  2. PURPOSES OF THE PROJECT
    Most of our projects have a cross-cultural component. In my view cross-cultural studies of psychology and human development serves two major purposes: One is to reveal cultural diversity in human cognition, emotion, and social behavior, and the other is to uncover developmental mechanisms of psychological phenomena which are otherwise difficult or even impossible to detect within a single (Western) population sample. While the former has important societal and policy implications, the latter carries great theoretical significance, that is, including samples of different populations in a single study enables us to not only examine how the mechanism(s) of a particular psychological phenomenon (e.g., memory development) may manifest in nuanced versions in different cultural contexts, but also to identify alternative mechanisms unique to a particular culture or subculture group. My research intends to achieve both purposes, with a focus on the processes and mechanisms of memory development at both cultural (between-culture) and individual (within-culture) levels.


  3. LEADING QUESTIONS


  4. RATIONALE AND AGENDA


  5. PARTICULAR STUDIES


  6. CURRENT STATUS OF PROJECT


  7. PEOPLE


  8. CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS


  9. PAPERS/BOOKS PUBLISHED
    Wang, Q. Ross, M. (2007). Culture and memory. In H. Kitayama D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Psychology. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

    Wang, Q. (2006). Relations of maternal style and child self-concept to autobiographical memories in Chinese, Chinese immigrant, and European American 3-year-olds. Child Development, 77, 6, 1799-1814.

    Wang, Q. (2006). Culture and the development of self-knowledge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 4, 182-187.

    Wang, Q. (2006). Earliest recollections of self and others in European American and Taiwanese young adults. Psychological Science, 17, 8, 708-714.

    Wang, Q. & Ross, M. (2005). What we remember and what we tell: The effects of culture and self-priming on memory representations and narratives. Memory, 13, 6, 594-606.

    Wang, Q. (2004). The emergence of cultural self-construct: Autobiographical memory and self-description in American and Chinese children. Developmental Psychology, 40, 1, 3-15.

    Wang, Q. (2003). Infantile amnesia reconsidered: A cross-cultural analysis. Memory, 11, 1, 65-80.

    Wang, Q. Brockmeier, J. (2002). Autobiographical remembering as cultural practice: Understanding the interplay between memory, self and culture. Culture Psychology, 8, 45-64.

    Wang, Q. (2001). Cultural effects on adults' earliest childhood recollection and self-description: Implications for the relation between memory and the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(2), 220-233.

    Wang, Q. Leichtman, M. D. (2000). Same beginnings, different stories: A comparison of American and Chinese children's narratives. Child Development, 71(5), 1329-1346.


  10. PAPERS IN PREP
    Wang, Q. (in press). "Remember when you got the big, big bulldozer?" Mother-child reminiscing over time and across cultures. Social Cognition.