Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0872-3268 : Camille Busby

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Poster Presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Chantal Boucher

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Unresolved memories lack closure or understanding, and feel unsettled. When describing these unpleasant memories, people can envision them from a particular vantage point (first-person vs. third-person) and use certain pronouns to refer to the self (first-person vs. third-person). This study examined how different narrative perspectives (a combination of visual imagery and pronoun use) influence ratings on self-compassion, psychological closure, and affect for unresolved memories. Research has shown that these retrieval strategies can influence the way people feel about and interpret negative events. More specifically, a distanced (vs. immersed) view can reduce negative emotionality and promote new insights. This study uniquely extends this research by examining self-compassion and closure. 120 undergraduates were recruited from the University of Windsor’s Psychology Department Participant Pool. In an experimental design, they selected an unresolved event-memory and wrote about it using a first-person or third-person narrative perspective. Those in the control condition were instructed to think about their event. All participants responded to measures of state self-compassion (SSCS-L; Neff et al., 2021), state psychological closure (PCS; Boucher et al., 2019), and state affect (PANAS; Bradley & Lang, 1994). Transitional impact, memory characteristics, and self-critical rumination were also examined. Findings regarding differences between narrative perspectives and between writing and thinking conditions will be presented. This study could hold important therapeutic applications by suggesting particular narrative interventions to aid in the resolution of troublesome memories.

Keywords: autobiographical memory, emotions, retrieval strategies, adaptive coping

Special Considerations

I (Camille Busby) will be the sole presenter.

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Investigating the Effects of Narrative Perspective on Self-Compassion, Psychological Closure, and Affect for Unresolved Memories

Unresolved memories lack closure or understanding, and feel unsettled. When describing these unpleasant memories, people can envision them from a particular vantage point (first-person vs. third-person) and use certain pronouns to refer to the self (first-person vs. third-person). This study examined how different narrative perspectives (a combination of visual imagery and pronoun use) influence ratings on self-compassion, psychological closure, and affect for unresolved memories. Research has shown that these retrieval strategies can influence the way people feel about and interpret negative events. More specifically, a distanced (vs. immersed) view can reduce negative emotionality and promote new insights. This study uniquely extends this research by examining self-compassion and closure. 120 undergraduates were recruited from the University of Windsor’s Psychology Department Participant Pool. In an experimental design, they selected an unresolved event-memory and wrote about it using a first-person or third-person narrative perspective. Those in the control condition were instructed to think about their event. All participants responded to measures of state self-compassion (SSCS-L; Neff et al., 2021), state psychological closure (PCS; Boucher et al., 2019), and state affect (PANAS; Bradley & Lang, 1994). Transitional impact, memory characteristics, and self-critical rumination were also examined. Findings regarding differences between narrative perspectives and between writing and thinking conditions will be presented. This study could hold important therapeutic applications by suggesting particular narrative interventions to aid in the resolution of troublesome memories.

Keywords: autobiographical memory, emotions, retrieval strategies, adaptive coping