Collective Memory of Political Events: Social Psychological Perspectives

By James W. Pennebaker; Dario Paez et al. | Go to book overview

original events. Social mechanisms in the data set were an important determinant of FB memories. They result from the emotionality with which people react to the announcement of an unexpected political event that holds importance for them. People engage in social sharing of emotions and follow the media. In this sense, overt rehearsal is more than a simple reproduction of the brain events constituting the memory. It is a social process that affects FB memories. It improves the individual FB memory by consolidating existing memory traces. In other words, by talking about the event and being exposed to the media, the memory for the reception context is improved. However, recall, in form of overt rehearsal, is almost always (re) constructive, because it takes place in a social context. Overt rehearsal thereby affects the FB memory and its contents. Also, it contributes to creating a collective memory for what happened, that is the political event as such. The data thereby suggest FB memories should be considered a special case of memory, that is, as an individual and a social faculty.


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