Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 10, Issue 2, 2018

Article 4
Same TALE in Another Culture: Validation of the Thinking About Life Experiences Scale in a multi-ethnic Trinidadian lifespan sample

Nicole Alea
University of California, Santa Barbara

Sideeka Ali
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine


Thinking about the personal past and sharing autobiographical memories with others is ubiquitous in daily life, but why? Three reasons or self, social, and directive functions have been proposed, and have been validated in some cultures, but none resembling the Caribbean. The goal of the current study was to examine the psychometric properties of the15-item Thinking About Life Experiences Scale (TALE), which assesses these three functions, in a lifespan Trinidadian multi-ethnic sample. Men and women (N = 442) ranging in age from 18 to 81 representing Trinidad’s three dominant ethnic groups (Afro-, Indo-, and mixed-Trinidadian) participated. The three-factor TALE (i.e., self-continuity, social-bonding, and directing behaviour) structure and the reliability of the measure held across the entire sample, as well as the age, gender, and ethnic groups. There was also measurement and residual invariance across men and women, and Afro-, Indo-, and mixed- Trinidadians. Measurement invariance was achieved across the three age groups indicating the TALE items have the same meaning, but results suggested that the younger age group might have a response bias (scalar invariance). The discussion highlights the 15-item TALE as a theoretically consistent, concise, psychometrically-sound measure to assess the functions of autobiographical memory in the Caribbean, and further suggests a multimethod approach for exploring age group differences in future work.