Psykologisk Institut

Dorthe Berntsen

Some personal life events are more prominent than others: Younger and older adults agree on which life events matter most

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Some important life events are part of the cultural life script as expected transitional events with culturally sanctioned timing. However, not all personally important events align with the cultural life script, including some events that are widely experienced. Here, we ask whether there are specific characteristics that define the events that become part of a culture’s life script and what role life experience plays. In Experiment 1, younger adults rated life events on different measures tapping central event dimensions in autobiographical memory theories. Cross-culturally extremely frequent cultural life script events consistently received higher ratings than other commonly experienced life story events. Experiment 2 demonstrated that these findings did not interact with age. Both younger and older adults rated the extreme cultural life script events most highly. In addition, older adults rated all types of life events more highly than younger adults, suggesting a greater appreciation of life events overall.

TidsskriftMemory Studies
Sider (fra-til)551-569
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2020

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