InterJournal Complex Systems, 832
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [832]
Submission Date: 2004
The use of fractal dimension calculation algorithm to determine the nature of autobiography memoirs.
Author(s): Olga Mitina ,Veronica Nurkova

Subject(s): CX.41



In the given research we offer the technique for the calculation of the density of events which people remember in autobiographical memory. We wanted to proof non-uniformity nature of distribution memoirs in the course of time. When a person is asked to recall important events which happened during his or her life as a rule the important events (about 20) and very important, critical ones (no more than 7) are named separately. We were interested with the law of distribution of these events during life course. The hypothesis to be tested is formulated as follows: «The important events are grouped around the critical events in non-uniform way ». For testifying and specification of this hypothesis we chose a formal model, proceeding from which the important events were represented by fractal sets in one-dimensional intervals, centered around the critical events. Fractal dimensions for centered one- and two-sided neighborhood intervals of different radius were calculated. In our example in the neighborhood of each critical event the system of centered intervals which lengths correspond among themselves as 1/2:1/3:1/4 has been constructed. If the important events occur in personal life in uniform intervals, irrespective of distance to critical event the number of events that got in each of three centered intervals corresponds proportionally to the length of corresponding intervals. If we accept a hypothesis that frequency of the important events is higher near the critical events, then the ratios between the amount of events which have occurred inside each of the three time intervals should be different. They are easy for calculating. Therefore to test the hypothesis we have to test that in the sample of parameters calculated for all subjects the average differs from the value calculated for uniform distribution. On a material of reports of 40 subjects it has been statistically proved, that fractal dimension grows as approaching the center of neighborhood from the right faster then the cubic function. The results let us make a conclusion that critical events as a rule are connected in personal consciousness with directly following important events. However there is a question here for the further research: what is a real direction of this connection. Is each critical event the reason for the whole sequence of the important events, or for an explanation of the whole cascade of the important events, so that the person tries to find in his or her life some «trigger», consciously or unconsciously, in a retrospective way and then call it as the critical event.

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