BLUCK ET AL.
factor pattern matrix with the variance explained by each of the four–factors is reported in Table 2.
INTERPRETATION OF THE FACTORS
As can be seen in Table 2, items loading on the first factor included all of the items derived from the literature to conceptualize direc- tive–type functions of AM; thus, we labeled this the Directive factor. For example, the item with the highest loading on this factor (.68) in- volves using the past to understand how the unexpected fits into one’s life. The emergence of this factor from participants’ responses to the TALE seems to confirm that one function of AM is to use the past in order to direct one’s present and future behavior, as well as to solve present problems, especially under conditions of uncertainty. However, examination of the items that load on this factor suggests that the Directive function may be broader than originally theoreti- cally conceived (for a discussion, see Bluck, 2003; Pillemer, 1998). For example, two items (originally conceptualized as self and social items) that loaded on this factor asked about using the past for emo- tion regulation, suggesting that emotion regulation may be viewed as a certain kind of problem solving. In addition, four items that re- flect autobiographical reasoning (Habermas & Bluck, 2000) about the self loaded on the Directive factor. These items reflect the sort of meaning making (Bruner, 1990) or “integrative reminiscence” (Watt & Wong, 1991; Wong & Watt, 1991) that may be necessary to update one’s view of self and life so that one has a “working model” (Lock- hart, 1989) with which to direct behavior. The fact that these items also load on the Directive factor suggest that meaning making also may be viewed as a certain kind of problem solving.
The items that load on the second factor seem to reflect the use of AM to assess Self–continuity. For example, the highest-loading item (.90) is highly representative of continuity: it concerns using the past to determine if one is still the same person as earlier in life. The con- tent of the other items that load on this factor seem to similarly tie into the need to use the past to determine if one is still the same person as earlier in life.
The remaining factors seem to reflect two distinct social functions of AM and contain all the items originally written from the theoreti- cal literature to represent the social function. We labeled one of these factors the Nurturing Relationships factor. For example, the item