Age-related differences in phenomenal characteristics of long-term memories for the attack of March 11, 2004
The objective of this study was to explore age-related differences in the phenomenal characteristics of long-term memories of the terrorist attacks that took place in Madrid (Spain) on March 11, 2004. One hundred and ninety-six individuals participated in this experiment: 92 with an average age of 9.60 years and 104 with an average age of 39.41 years at the time of the event. To evaluate their real memories of the event twelve years later, Phenomenological Questionnaire on Autobiographical Memory was used. Differences were shown between the two groups in terms of memory quality, emotions associated with the event, and accessibility of the information remembered. Results were also represented using high-dimensional visualization (HDV) graphs, supporting the assertion that long-term event memories have different characteristics depending on the age of the individual at the time the event took place. Memories for adult people meet the criteria to be considered flashbulb memories, while in the case of the younger ones, this kind of memory does not seem to be generated. Young people are probably less capable of evaluating the consequences of an event, which results in reduced emotional arousal and a different elaboration of the event memory in comparison to older adults.
Vallet, R., Manzanero, A. L., Aróztegui, J., y García-Zurdo, R. (2017). Age-related differences in phenomenal characteristics of long-term memories for the attack of March 11, 2004. Anuario de Psicología Jurídica, 27.