We examined whether past and future negative life story events, compared to past and future positive events, were less likely to be related to life story chapters and situated at a greater temporal distance from the present. We also examined relations between life stories and personality traits. Three hundred ten students and 160 middle-aged adults completed a measure of personality traits and identified chapters as well as past and future events in their life story. All life story components were rated on emotion and age. Negative future events were less likely to be a continuation of chapters and were more temporally distant than positive future events. Extraversion and Conscientiousness were related to more positive life stories, and Neuroticism was related to more negative life stories. This suggests that the life story is positively biased by minimising the negative future, and that the construction of life stories is related to personality traits.
Cognition and Emotion, 2014, Vol 28, Issue 2, p. 260-277
Managers and employees at universities, research institutions etc.; University students; Managers and employees at University colleges; Adult; Aged; Aging; Emotions; Female; Humans; Life Change Events; Male; Middle Aged; Personality; Personality Inventory; Time Factors; Young Adult; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; identity; Hukommelse; Selvbiografisk hukommelse; emotioner; positiv psykologi; personlighed; extraversion; neuroticisme; hukommelse; selvbiografisk hukommelse; livshistorie