Adults older than 40 years remember a significantly greater amount of personal life events from their 15 - 30 years of age. This phenomenon is known as the reminiscence bump (Rubin, Rahal, & Poon, 1998). The reminiscence bump is highly populated by emotionally positive events (Rubin & Berntsen, 2003), when cued by requests for important events. This dominance of positive events is not seen when cued by random words. Berntsen and Rubin (2004) presented a cultural explanation for the bump: cultural life script theory. Their theory claims that the bump for the life story can be explained by the life script; that is, culturally shared expectations about the order and timing of life events in an typical, idealized life course. According to the cultural life script theory, the life script is used as a guideline for the recall of autobiographical memories, which help construct personal life stories. This study tested the cultural life script theory by comparing the life-span temporal distributions of life script events and life story events.
Main Research Area:
Social Perspectives on Autobiographical Memory - Memory and Imagination, 2013