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How to date future events? Cognitive processes supporting the temporal location of autobiographical events in healthy individuals and in schizophrenia

Abstract : The aim of this thesis was to investigate the processes involved in the temporal location of personal future events in healthy individuals and in patients with schizophrenia. To do so, we used a think-aloud procedure in three experimental studies to analyse the strategies used to determine the times of autobiographical events. In Study 1, we found that participants mostly used reconstructive/inferential processes to date events. They relied most frequently on autobiographical knowledge (i.e., lifetime periods/extended events) and general knowledge to reconstruct or infer the times of events, both for past and future events. In Study 2, we found that personal goals influenced the temporal location process by increasing the direct access to the times of important future events, and by favouring the use of autobiographical knowledge to infer the times of events when dates are not directly accessible. In Study 3, we found that patients with schizophrenia had difficulties to rely on episodic information to reconstruct or infer the times of personal events, and made more errors when they were asked to temporally order the previously dated events. Based on these novel findings, we propose a dual-process model of the temporal location of autobiographical events that articulates the cognitive mechanisms engaged in the dating of past and future events
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Mohamed Hédi Ben Malek. How to date future events? Cognitive processes supporting the temporal location of autobiographical events in healthy individuals and in schizophrenia. Psychology. Université de Strasbourg; Université de Liège, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019STRAJ040⟩. ⟨tel-02443293⟩

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