The research RE.NA.ME. (Relationship - Narrative - Memory)
The project research RE.NA.ME. (Relationship – Narrative – Memory) starts from the ME.NA.ME. findings (Memory – Narrative – Memory) to add new dimensions, that are the relational dimension and the emotion regulation processes. ME.NA.ME. results showed that narration may modify the autobiographical memory, but they left some open-ended questions regarding the daily experience of narration, that generally involves social sharing.
Thus, RE.NA.ME. focuses on the importance of the relationship between narrator and listener and also of the emotion regulation processes occurring in this relationship. Emotion regulation has been investigated both as a personal characteristic (trait emotion regulation) and as a process emerging from the narration (state emotion regulation). In the latter meaning, it involves the cognitive reappraisal of the emotional experience and the emotional disclosure during the storytelling.
The aim of RE.NA.ME. is to investigate the relationship among memory, narrative, and emotion regulation within the relationship between listener and narrator, considering different types of listening (the role of the listener) and narrator’s trait emotion regulation (the role of narrator).
We conducted two studies:
- RE.NA.ME.1, that compared an empathic listening with a distracted listening on a sample of adolescents and emerging adults. Results showed that the distracted listening negatively impacted on emotions of memories, narrative coherence and emotion regulation of the storytelling. In addition, the distracted listening was particularly detrimental for participants with higher levels of emotion dysregulation. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676261.2016.1273521
- RE.NA.ME.2, that compared the empathic listening with a standard listening (an attentive but not empathic listening) and a written narrative, on a sample of emerging adults. Results showed that all the three narration contexts had a positive influence on memory and narrative, highlighting that the empathic listening is not always required. In fact, a favorable narration context, in which the narrator receives attention, can be equally effective. However, the empathic listening is necessary for emotion regulation processes of the storytelling.
Future studies could clarify these processes in adolescence and extend the investigation to the entire life cycle.
This research has been conducted by:
Professor Andrea Smorti
In collaboration with Professor Monisha Pasupathi, Social Development Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Utah.
With the participation of: Francesca Boddi, Giulia Marta Bonsegna, Ludovica Borsellini, Roberta Catilino, Martina De Biase, Roberta Della Croce, Elena Pellegrini.