Diverse types of memories make people who they are and take part in creating their worldview, and it is not easy to understand this process. Memories are like small blocks that match with each other, fit together, create a whole picture, and form one’s consciousness. All person’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, and fears are built upon what he or she has experienced before. The purpose of this paper is to discuss what role memory plays in the development of self and personality.
It is hard to disagree that all people’s actions will sooner or later affect their lives. If someone had bad luck in love, this situation and the memories about it played a crucial role in forming his or her character and personality and will have a strong impact on this person. Memory helps people realize some traits of their character they had no clue about; it prompts what is the most important for people in their lives. Hence, this is the most essential role memory plays in the development of self. Since people cannot communicate with themselves, there are only two ways of knowing their personalities: from descriptions they receive from others and their memories.
The story of someone’s life continues existing only if the person remembers his or her self and personality. It may be explained in the example of ice cream. There is a boy who likes vanilla ice cream, but he is not just someone who likes it, he is someone who knows that his favorite ice cream is chocolate. This boy remembers the best places to eat it and all the people he has eaten it with. These and millions of other unimportant or global memories define personality.
Autobiographical memories are the most important to the formation of self. They perform a self-representative function by using personal memories for creating and maintaining a coherent self-identity over time (Cacioppo and Freberg 332). There are real situations when people lose their autobiographical and episodic memories and feel confused and lost. Usually, for their friends and family, nothing changes as the person sooner or later starts acting like he or she used to before losing memories. However, it is rather challenging and strange for this person as everything that created his or her personality and the character is gone, and now this process needs to be started over.
Cacioppo, John T., and Laura Freberg. Discovering Psychology: The Science of Mind. Cengage Learning, 2018.