Qi Wang, PhD

Professor of Human Development, Cornell University


April 28, 2017
12:20 pm
Uris Hall 202


Culturally Motivated Remembering

Episodic memory involves remembering specific events from a particular time and place and their details. It enables us to mentally travel back in time to re-experience our past and is regarded as a true marvel of nature. I discuss how this fundamental process of remembering is variably motivated across cultures. I present findings to show that the culturally motivated process is reflected in the functional significance of episodic memory in constituting the self. It takes place at different stages of remembering and is sustained by family mnemonic practices. The culturally motivated process further moderates the effects of “universal” mechanisms and shapes the psychological consequences of remembering. By delineating the culturally motivated process of remembering, I illustrate that episodic memory may well reflect the adaptive nature of human cognition in response to the specific ecological environment and social context in which individuals reside.

Refreshments to be served at 12:10