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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Those Sweet Twenties

Elderly experience recollecting detailed memories of their lives from when they were in their twenties. People recall more events from the period when they were adolescents and young adults than from other lifetime periods.

We found that participants answered questions about events that occurred when they were between 15 and 25 years old more frequently correct than questions about events that occurred when they were younger than 15 or older than 25 years. This result supports the view that people store events better in adolescence and early adulthood.

Research is done by cue-words, participants are given a cue-word e.g. church and are asked to tell a memory associated with this word. Afterwards the date of this memory will be traced with the participant. If this is done with elderly a characteristic graph will ensue if recollections are placed against age of the participants.

Two explanations exist. The age period of your twenties is the most impressive. It's the time of your life with the greatest impact, the period in which the direction of your life is made. In these years more memorable events happened than in others
The other explanation is that in your twenties memory is at it's best. Events in adolescence and early adulthood are stored better than in other lifetime periods. From then on your memory declines.

Article discussed:
Presentation of the paper:'Reminiscence Bump in Memory for Remote Events' written by Jaap Murre and Martijn Meeter at the SARMAC VII (The Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition).
Abstract of the article

Related blog article:
Memory for a general audience

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