Life happens when you are young: reminiscence bump in cultural life scripts regardless of number of events elicited

Annette Bohn, Jonathan Koppel, Celia Harris

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Abstract

Cultural life scripts are representations of a prototypical life course within a culture, consisting of a shared understanding of culturally important transitional events and their timing. Cultural life scripts contain a “bump” for events in adolescence and early adulthood, mirroring the reminiscence bump in autobiographical memory. However, the bump in the cultural life script might be due to the typical methodology used, namely generating only the seven most important events in a prototypical life, thus prioritizing early events. Here, we tested whether expanding the number of events would level the bump in the cultural life script. Four groups of 100 participants each generated a cultural life script with four, seven, 15 or 25 events. Across groups, there was a clear bump in adolescence and early adulthood, showing that the bump in cultural life scripts is highly robust and not an artefact of methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Volume6
Issue number3
Early online date17 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

Keywords

  • autobiographical memory
  • cultural life script
  • important memories
  • reminiscence bump

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