Giuliana Mazzoni, Francesca Chiesi, Caterina Primi

Contenuti autobiografici dell'infanzia

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In this paper we maintain that the attribution of some events to our personal past is based on metacognitive processes, i.e. confidence judgments, that depend on various types of information. We report the results of two studies on metacognitive judgments about the occurrence of certain events in one's early infancy. In the first study we examined three reasons for attributing an event to one's peronal past: recall of the original event, recall of family documents (stories or pictures), and a more generic judgment about the likelihood of the events happening. Results showed that confidence depends on the frequency of occurrence of the event. For rare events confidence is based mainly on recall of the original event, whereas when events are frequent it is based on probability judgments. The second study, besides confirming the resuts of the first, revealed that probability judgments are based on a set of implicit theories of childhood and of the self. These data indicate that metacognitive judgments play a crucial role in the reconstruction of our past, especially when we think about very early events, like those occurring in infancy, for which we have almost no memories.

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