Shared Remembering and Distributed Affect
A significant feature of human life is our psychological interdependence: our cognitive and affective states are related to and mutually influence those of certain other people. What each of us feels and remembers, what matters to each of us about present and past, and the way we imagine and plan for the future, is influenced by what those others feel, remember, and care about. This chapter builds on recent suggestions that both remembering and feeling are in certain circumstances worldly or socially shared activities rather than entirely internal. I ask how social aspects of memory relate to the distributed nature of affective phenomena such as emotions and moods. Identifying four ways in which distributed affect implicates distinctive forms of memory, the chapter goes on to assess what is ‘shared’ in cases of socially distributed memory, emotion, and action. Arguing that there are many forms of psychological interdependence, I make the case that complementary or meshing relations between people in different cognitive and affective states are often more significant than convergence or synchrony across interacting individuals.