Autobiographical memories of specific social events for older and younger adults: Context dependency of the Memory Characteristics Questionnaire on recollection of 1970 and 2005 Japan World Expositions

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To clarify the characteristics of autobiographical memories of personally experienced social events, we examined visitors' long-term memories of the 1970 Japan World Exposition Osaka (Expo 1970) for 47 older adults and of Expo 2005 Aichi Japan (Expo 2005) for 42 older and 40 younger adults using the Memory Characteristics Questionnaire (MCQ). The factor structure of the MCQ was compared with that of a previous study on long-term memories of the graduation ceremonies of junior high-school students, which employed the MCQ and itself was used as a comparative data set (N = 1183). Thus, the long-term memory characteristics of four independent groups were considered for comparative analysis: Expo 1970-Older, Expo 2005-Older, Expo 2005-Younger, and Graduation-Younger. The mean scores for each of eight MCQ factors were calculated in each of the four groups. Significant differences of scores between the four independent groups were found on several factors of the MCQ. Based on these data, some issues of the context dependency of MCQ including the influence of retention interval, participant age, and the nature of experience are discussed.

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