Chapter 11. Testing Fuchs’ taxonomy of body memory

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In this chapter, we tested the body memory taxonomy of Fuchs (2003) using content analysis of interviews and questionnaire data – a widely used method for approaching a new concept or phenomenon in the cognitive or social sciences (Mayring 1995; Merten 1995). We conducted interviews on body memory with 61 experienced and inexperienced movers (Study 1) and analyzed questionnaire data of 77 participants (Study 2) in order to find out whether Fuchs’ taxonomy encompasses all relevant aspects of what comes to peoples’ minds when they think about the phenomenon of body memory. As a result, all of Fuchs’ categories emerged in participants’ narratives. Some categories were further differentiated, such as traumatic memories related to a physical or a psychic insult. In particular, situational memory was identified as an overarching category that can be differentiated into various sense modalities (haptic, auditive, olfactory, kinaesthetic, visual). Fuchs’ taxonomy of body memory was thus validated on the basis of this first qualitative empirical test.


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