Theories hold that autobiographical memory serves several broad functions (directive, self, and social). In the current study, items were derived from the theoretical literature to create the Thinking About Life Experiences (TALE) questionnaire to empirically assess these three functions. Participants (N = 167) completed the TALE. To examine convergent validity, they also rated their overall tendency to think about and to talk about the past and completed the Reminiscence Functions Scale (Webster, 1997). The results lend support to the existence of these theoretical functions, but also offer room for refinements in future thinking about both the breadth and specificity of the functions that autobiographical memory serves.
Bluck, S., Alea, N., Habermas, T., & Rubin, D. C. (2005). A tale of three functions: The self–reported uses of autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 23(1), 91-117.