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Examining the life story account of the reminiscence bump: Why we remember more from young adulthood


Demiray, Burcu; Gülgöz, Sami; Bluck, Susan (2009). Examining the life story account of the reminiscence bump: Why we remember more from young adulthood. Memory, 17(7):708-723.

Abstract

The reminiscence bump is a robust finding demonstrated mostly with the cue-word method in Western cultures. The first aim of the study was to replicate the reminiscence bump using a life history timeline method and to extend reminiscence bump research to a Turkish sample. The second aim was to empirically examine the recently proposed life story account (Glück & Bluck, 2007) for the reminiscence bump. The sample consisted of 40 women and 32 men aged 52 to 66 years. Participants’ lives were divided into 5-year intervals and they verbally reported as many memories as possible in a standard timeframe from each interval (in random order) and provided ratings of several memory characteristics. As expected, the lifespan distribution of the resulting 6373 memories demonstrated a reminiscence bump. In support of the life story account, bump memories were found to be more novel, more important for identity development, more distinct, and more likely to involve developmental transitions than memories from other age periods. Findings are discussed in terms of the life story account, which synthesises lifespan developmental theory and life story theory.

Abstract

The reminiscence bump is a robust finding demonstrated mostly with the cue-word method in Western cultures. The first aim of the study was to replicate the reminiscence bump using a life history timeline method and to extend reminiscence bump research to a Turkish sample. The second aim was to empirically examine the recently proposed life story account (Glück & Bluck, 2007) for the reminiscence bump. The sample consisted of 40 women and 32 men aged 52 to 66 years. Participants’ lives were divided into 5-year intervals and they verbally reported as many memories as possible in a standard timeframe from each interval (in random order) and provided ratings of several memory characteristics. As expected, the lifespan distribution of the resulting 6373 memories demonstrated a reminiscence bump. In support of the life story account, bump memories were found to be more novel, more important for identity development, more distinct, and more likely to involve developmental transitions than memories from other age periods. Findings are discussed in terms of the life story account, which synthesises lifespan developmental theory and life story theory.

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17 citations in Web of Science®
19 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:13 Jan 2015 10:13
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:49
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Inc.
ISSN:0965-8211
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09658210902939322
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658210902939322
PubMed ID:19598057

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