An investigation into the relationship between memory problems and our public and private selves

Henderson, Emma (2012). An investigation into the relationship between memory problems and our public and private selves. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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Unawareness of memory problems can be one of the symptoms of dementia and can only partially be attributed to neurocognitive consequences. Research is continuing to elucidate the psychosocial factors which impact on unawareness. Research with other clinical populations has suggested that some unawareness may be due to people wishing to present favourably and therefore masking their awareness. Since awareness depends on the integrity of the same type of memories used to construct identity, unawareness may also have connections with the identity of the person with dementia.

This investigation explored the relationships between awareness, identity and social desirability in dementia. Twenty eight participants with dementia and relatives who acted as informants were recruited and completed measures of social desirability, identity and unawareness. Pearson Product Moment Coefficients revealed that the relationship between unawareness and strength of identity failed to reach statistical significance and there was no relationship with whether identity was rated as positive or negative. Unawareness was unrelated to social desirability and only identity direction (positive or negative), not strength per se, was related to social desirability. The study concludes that it was not sufficiently powered to fully explore the relationship between the variables and that future investigation is warranted.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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