A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Early Memories using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: Comparing the Early Memories of American and Indian Turkers

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
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  • 1 Shippensburg University, Psychology Department, Shippensburg, USA
  • 2 Syracuse University, Psychology Department, Syracuse, USA

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Abstract

The topic of infantile amnesia, or often referred to as one’s earliest childhood memory, has been studied for more than 100 years. Recently, there have been increased efforts to examine cultural differences in earliest childhood memories. The present study recruited participants (N = 242) from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MT), referred to as Turkers, who were either from an individualist (United States) or collectivist (India) culture, and compared their earliest recollections. Turkers from India reported earliest recollections that were from a later age, had more social themes, had more unpleasant memories, had more specific memories, and took longer to complete the task compared to Turkers from the United States. These findings suggest that unique cultural differences may be associated with early memories, which may reflect cultural differences in the development of one’s self-concept.

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