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Share in the biggest ever survey of the nation's memories

The survey

This will be the largest survey of the nation's memories ever conducted. By registering and taking part in the survey you create an archive of some of your own most important memories, an archive you can share with others. Registering also opens the door to reading the memories of others, allowing you to compare your experiences with others.

The experts

The research is being led by Professor Martin Conway of the Leeds Memory Group, part of the Institute of Psychological Sciences at Leeds University. Professor Conway is a leading expert on cognitive psychology.

The research

The memories will be used to research three key areas:

  • whether relationship style has an impact on memories
  • how gender, age and ethnic differences affect peoples' memories of public events
  • the events that form 'self-defining' memories
  • memory 'cues'

What's a memory?

Remembering that Paris is the capital of France is a type of memory called 'Semantic memory', memory for concepts, facts, rules, etc.

Remembering that you had a weekend in Paris last spring is what we call 'Autobiographical memory'. Autobiographical memory consists of personal factual autobiographical knowledge about one's own life, i.e. "I went to Paris last year" and very specific mental representations of moments of experience, and these are called 'Episodic memories'. Unlike either semantic memory and autobiographical knowledge, Episodic memories contain sensory-perceptual-affective knowledge about specific moments in time.

When we recall a specific autobiographical memory, although we may be unaware of it, a complex mental construction process takes place in which autobiographical knowledge and episodic memories are brought together to form a transitory mental representation that we can consciously experience as a specific memory. It is this type of memory (specific autobiographical memories) that we will be collecting in our memory survey.

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