A Study of Gender Differences in Autobiographical Memory: Broken Down by Age and Sex

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Data from 40 older adults who produced autobiographical memories to word cues and to the request to list five important memories, and data from 60 older adults who answered factual multiple-choice questions for events spread across their lives, were analyzed for gender differences. In spite of considerable statistical power, there were no gender differences in the distribution of autobiographical memories over the lifespan, in the distribution of important memories, in various ratings provided to these memories, or in the distribution of knowledge for events. The only gender difference found was that men performed better on factual questions about current events and baseball. Thus, counter to what might be expected from Darwinian theory and some behavioral data, gender differences were minimal.






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Rubin, DC, MD Schulkind and TA Rahhal (1999). A Study of Gender Differences in Autobiographical Memory: Broken Down by Age and Sex. Journal of Adult Development, 6(1). pp. 61–71. 10.1023/A:1021676309064 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10141.

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David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.

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