Involuntary Autobiographical Memories: An Introduction to the Unbidden Past by Dorthe BerntsenInvoluntary Autobiographical Memories: An Introduction to the Unbidden Past by Dorthe Berntsen

Involuntary Autobiographical Memories: An Introduction to the Unbidden Past

byDorthe Berntsen

Hardcover | March 23, 2009

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This book was first published in 2009. We often remember personal experiences without any conscious effort. A piece of music heard on the radio may stir a memory of a moment from the past. Such occurrences are known as involuntary autobiographical memories. They often occur in response to environmental stimuli or aspects of current thought. Until recently, they were treated almost exclusively as a clinical phenomenon, as a sign of distress or a mark of trauma. In this innovative work, however, Dorthe Berntsen argues that involuntary memories are predominantly positive and far more common than previously believed. She argues that they reflect a basic mode of remembering that predates the more advanced strategic retrieval mode, and that their primary function may simply be to prevent us from living in the present. Reviewing a variety of cognitive, clinical, and aesthetic approaches, this monograph will be of immense interest to anyone seeking to better understand this misunderstood phenomenon.
Title:Involuntary Autobiographical Memories: An Introduction to the Unbidden PastFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.51 inPublished:March 23, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521866162

ISBN - 13:9780521866163

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to the unbidden past; 2. Theoretical backgrounds; 3. Ways to study the unbidden past; 4. How special are involuntary autobiographical memories?; 5. How do they come to mind?; 6. Differences between involuntary and voluntary autobiographical memories; 7. Involuntary memories of traumatic events; 8. Future and past.

Editorial Reviews

"....In a marvelous new book, Involuntary Autobiographical Memories: An Introduction to the Unbidden Past, Dorthe Berntsen makes a convincing case for the central importance of an alternative mode of remembering that has been for the most part overlooked by research psychologists.... Berntsen's ambitious aim is to integrate this elusive phenomenon into contemporary psychological research and theory without losing sight of its relevance to clinical practice. In this respect, the book succeeds admirably.... This book is much more than a research review and integration of findings. The writing is exceptionally lucid, the content scholarly without being ponderous. Engaging case examples (including a detailed analysis of involuntary memories described by the French author Marcel Proust) and personal insights are used to illustrate scientific concepts or clarify arguments... The exciting theoretical issues raised in this book will engage students, experienced researchers, and scholars who share a serious interest in the organization and functions of autobiographical memory. For readers who believe that psychology and related disciplines are enriched by a truly integrative and theory-driven approach, this book is an inspiration." -David B. Pillemer, University of New Hampshire, Memory Studies