chapter  9
Binding the Self in Time
WithKaren Lemmon, Chris Moore
Pages 18

The bulk of the research on the past has focused on how children start to represent their personal histories in autobiographies that take narrative form (see Fivush & Hudson, 1990; Howe & Courage, 1993, 1997; Nelson, 1992, 1993). Studies of autobiographical memory have tended to focus on memory for personally experienced events and how those events are represented. Recently, considerable interest has been shown in the social environmental conditions for the representation of events from the personal past (see, e.g., Welch-Ross, 1997). Although it is clear that children younger than 4 years can recall earlier events, these events do not appear to be connected to the self in the sense of being part of a personal narrative or autobiography. Such an autobiographical memory appears to develop at about 4 years of age (Nelson, 1993). In addition to the work on autobiographical memory, there has been significant recent interest in the use of the delayed self-recognition procedure, introduced by Povinelli and colleagues (Povinelli, Landau, & Perilloux, 1996; Suddendorf, 1999; Zelazo, Sommerville, & Nichols, 1999; see also Povinelli, chap. 5, this volume) to assess children’s ability to link past events to the present. As Povinelli (chap. 5, this volume) argues, the delayed self-recognition procedure may well index

children’s understanding of the causal connection between previous states of the self and the current state of the self.