Retrieval of Memories among the Resettlers of Bhakra Dam using Discrete and Continuous Associative Recall| P 29-39

Raghubir Singh Pirta, Nitin Chandel and Chhaya Pirta
Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla


Extreme situations in life may contribute to resilience or vulnerability among individuals or
groups, the present study takes up one such issue. In this study memories of lost home
were explored nearly after fifty years among the resettlers of Bhakra Dam, Himachal
Pradesh. A quasi-experimental design was used to explore the effects of displacement
and associative recall on the measures of recall. The displaced and non-displaced
peasants under the discrete or continuous conditions recalled the memories associated
with their native land (past memory), including the old Bilaspur town, which drowned in
Govind Sagar in 1963. The displaced peasants recalled significantly greater number of
memories of lost home as compared to the non-displaced peasants. And the associative
recall strategy also had significant effect; the average recall score under the continuous
association condition was significantly higher from the discrete association condition.
Following Bowlby’s attachment theory these findings suggest that the memories of lost
home, which are still alive in the minds of the resettlers of Bhakra Dam, need attention
from policy makers and mental health personnel.
Keywords: Forcible displacement; associative recall; Bowlby’s attachment theory,

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