A qualitative exploration of memory cuing by personal items in the home

Annemarie Zijlema, Elise van den Hoven, Berry Eggen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    229 Downloads (Pure)


    We are surrounded by personal items that can trigger memories, such as photos, souvenirs and heirlooms. Also during holidays, we collect items to remind us of the events, but not all bring back memories to the same extent. Therefore, we explored peoples’ responses to personal items related to a holiday, using the home tour interviewing method. In total, 63 accounts of cuing responses from nine home tours were analysed using thematic analysis. This resulted in four types of cuing responses: (a) ‘no-memory’ responses, (b) ‘know’ responses, (c) ‘memory evoked think or feel’ responses and (d) ‘remember’ responses. For each of these cuing response categories, we looked into the types of items and their characteristics. Furthermore, we found that some items can evoke multiple memories. The majority of the memories’ content refers to events close to the moment of acquiring the item.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)377-397
    Number of pages21
    JournalMemory Studies
    Issue number4
    Early online date7 Jun 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


    • autobiographical memory
    • cuing responses
    • episodic memory
    • home tour interviews
    • interaction design
    • memory cues

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Cultural Studies
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


    Dive into the research topics of 'A qualitative exploration of memory cuing by personal items in the home'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this