BLUCK ET AL.
but we began with the straightforward and face valid approach of simply asking people what they use AM for (i.e., obtaining self–re- ports). To do this, we developed the Thinking About Life Experi- ences (TALE) Questionnaire. Items that represent directive, self, and social functions were created using statements and claims made in the theoretical literature reviewed above. The basic aim of the study was to examine whether the three functions that have been men- tioned repeatedly in the literature would emerge in a factor analysis of the items on the TALE. To validate the obtained factor structure, we also administered the Reminiscence Functions Scale (RFS; Web- ster, 1993), an empirically derived scale that examines people’s rea- sons for reminiscing about specific episodes. The TALE and RFS are discussed in more detail below, highlighting the ways in which the instruments are both similar and different.
Participants were 167 undergraduate students (87 women and 80 men) at Duke University who ranged in age from 18 to 21 (M = 18.44 years, SD = .73). Students received course credit for participation. Substituting means for missing data can distort means and reduce correlations among variables (Gorsuch, 1983) thus, we dropped six participants with missing data from analyses, which resulted in a fi- nal sample size of 161. The sample size is satisfactory for conducting exploratory factor analysis as long as factor loadings below .40 are not interpreted (Gorsuch, 1983).
Procedure and Measures
As part of a larger study, participants completed two questionnaires: the TALE and the Reminiscence Functions Scale (RFS; Webster, 1993). All participants completed the TALE questionnaire and then the RFS.
Thinking about Life Experiences Questionnaire. The TALE is a the- ory–based questionnaire developed for use in this study. It assesses the three theoretical functions of AM: the directive function, the self–function, and the social function. Individual items were derived