Spring 2025

Autobiographical Memory

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-368


Matthew Schulkind (Section 01)


Autobiographical memory encompasses everything we know about our personal past, from information as mundane as our Social Security number to the most inspirational moments of our lives. This course will begin by evaluating several theoretical frameworks that structure the field. We will consider how personal knowledge influences our sense of self and will examine both the contents of autobiographical memory and the contexts in which it functions, including eyewitness testimony, flashbulb memories, and the false/recovered memory controversy. We will discuss individual differences (gender and age) in autobiographical memory and will also examine the neurobiology of long-term memory and the consequences of damage to the system (i.e., dementia and amnesia). Finally, we will explore how social groups retain memories for important cultural events.

Requisite: PSYC 233. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester: Professor Schulkind.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority to psychology majors by seniority and then other students by seniority.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: This course will involve weekly readings of a handful of journal articles and a short weekly written response to the reading assignments. Most of the class will be discussion-oriented, so frequent speaking will be required. Student usually complete a 5-7 page paper during the semester. At the end of the semester, the students normally engage in an in-class that will involve in some group work. This debate will be used as the basis for a final term paper.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2021, Spring 2025