Characteristics of Childhood Memories and the Psychological Profile of an Adult



The article presents the results of an empirical research that discovered associations between the characteristics of psychological profile of an adult and characteristics of childhood recollections. The findings are interpreted as the result of bilateral interaction of the actually lived through childhood experiences with the selectivity mechanisms of the adult psyche, that select for actual use those memories that are consistent with the established structure of personality. The childhood memories have intra-individual style resistance, with the parameters of readiness to be included in communication, frequency of use, localization of the source of memories, the brightness, the number of characters included in the description, as well as saturation and the sign of the emotional component. The inclusion of “my birth” event into the graphic representation of the past is connected to the high level of emotional stability and satisfaction, as well as with low level of internal conflict. People for whom the earlier memories are spontaneously available are characterized by high self governance and self-worth and have a low level of internal conflict. People, whose memories of childhood include mostly positive emotions, believe in friendly attitude of others, are emotionally stable, have high self-control. Sharply negative feelings towards childhood memories are linked to low self-acceptance, realism tendency and avoidance of illusions. The optimal number of characters in childhood memories is 2 to 4. Deviations are associated with low levels of reflected self-attitude, isolation from the social environment and high level of internal conflict. People with high level of arbitrariness are capable of regulating their emotional state by the means of actualization the sequence of memories with the chosen emotional sign (positive or negative).

General Information

Keywords: childhood memories, autobiographical memory, self-attitude

Journal rubric: General Psychology

For citation: Nurkova V.V., Masolova G.Y. Characteristics of Childhood Memories and the Psychological Profile of an Adult [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2009. Vol. 1, no. 4 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Veronika V. Nurkova, Doctor of Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leading researcher at the School of Anthropology of the Future, Institute of Social Sciences of the Russian National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA), Associate Professor of the Faculty of the Effective Academy of Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

G. Y. Masolova, Alumni, Department of Psychology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia



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