The role of episodic memories in current and future well-being

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2012 Apr;38(4):505-19. doi: 10.1177/0146167211429805. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


The purpose of the present research was to examine the automatic role of psychological need satisfaction in episodic memories and in their associated networked memories on people's sense of well-being. In each of four studies, participants were asked to describe a main episodic memory and networked memories, that is, other memories related to their main episodic memory. Results of Studies 1 and 2 revealed that levels of need satisfaction in a main episodic memory and in its networked memories both uniquely contributed to the prediction of well-being (based on either participants' or peers' ratings). Study 3 examined the automatic effect of priming an episodic memory network on people's well-being in the here and now. Study 4 revealed that need satisfaction in episodic memory networks predicted changes in well-being over time. In addition, this relationship held after controlling for broad dispositional traits, mental health, and general need satisfaction ratings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Mental Recall
  • Models, Psychological
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Personality Tests
  • Self Concept*
  • Young Adult