Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Alejandra Zaragoza Scherman

Czech and Slovak Life Scripts: The Rare Case of Two Countries that Used to Be One

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  • Lenka Štěpánková, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic
  • Dita Kadlčíková, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  • Alejandra Zaragoza Scherman

In this study, we examined cultural life scripts in two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cultural life script is semantic knowledge about culturally shared expectations regarding the order and timing of important life events during an idealised life course. For many decades, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were one country: Czechoslovakia. After a regime change in 1989 and the separation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, their two cultures have been evolving and changing independently from one another, making these countries interesting for examining life scripts. We found that the cultural life scripts provided by Slovak and Czech participants shared 25 event categories, representing 89.3% of event categories in the Czech sample and 80.6% of event categories in the Slovak sample (including the category Other). However, participants also reported unique event categories to each culture (10.7% of unique event categories in the Czech sample and 19.4% in the Slovak sample), reflecting the specific cultural characteristics of these two separate countries. Reported events were listed in the same order they are expected to happen during the life span, were mostly positive, and showed a lifespan distribution consistent with the reminiscence bump. Participants showed higher agreement in the age estimates of positive events, compared to neutral and negative ones. Events were mostly social, in contrast to biological events. All these findings are consistent with the life script literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1218
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • Cultural life scripts, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, positivity bias in reminiscence bump

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