Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Kim Roberts
Autobiographical memories play a critical role in shaping personal identity, regulating emotions, and guiding future behaviour. Reminiscing about these memories can be particularly beneficial for coping with negative experiences. This study investigated the connections between mental-state talk, theory of mind, and source monitoring in parent-child reminiscing, and how it can be influenced by remembering enjoyable versus frustrating events. This study involved children ages 3-8 (N = 50) and consisted of two sessions. In the first session, the child reminisced with their parent about an enjoyable and frustrating event and completed two source-monitoring tasks. In the second session, the child was tested on vocabulary, theory of mind, and the source-monitoring tasks. Correlations and regression analyses were run to examine the data. Findings revealed the better children understood that other people have different thoughts and feelings, the less they referenced emotion terms (e.g., happy, sad, frustrated) and cognitive terms (e.g., know, understand, believe) when reminiscing about negative events, and the more they referenced these terms when reminiscing about positive events. Further, children who have a better understanding of others' mental states are also more accurate in monitoring the source of their own actions. These findings suggest that children adapt their communication strategies based on their understanding of others' mental states and emotional dynamics. These differences have never been looked at together, making this study the first of its kind to contribute to the field of developmental psychology. These memory skills are vital for language and memory development and can have important implications for education, as they can foster a deeper understanding of material for students with varying cognitive abilities.
Earnshaw, Mallory, "A Close Look at the Connections Between Mental-State Talk, Theory of Mind, and Source Monitoring During Parent-Child Reminiscing of Emotional Events" (2023). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2601.