The temporal distribution of autobiographical memory: changes in reliving and vividness over the life span do not explain the reminiscence bump.

Journal Article

When autobiographical memories are elicited with word cues, personal events from middle childhood to early adulthood are overrepresented compared to events from other periods. It is, however, unclear whether these memories are also associated with greater recollection. In this online study, we examined whether autobiographical memories from adolescence and early adulthood are recollected more than memories from other lifetime periods. Participants rated personal events that were elicited with cue words on reliving or vividness. Consistent with previous studies, most memories came from the period in which the participants were between 6 and 20 years old. The memories from this period were not relived more or recalled more vividly than memories from other lifetime periods, suggesting that they do not involve more recollection. Recent events had higher levels of reliving and vividness than remote events, and older adults reported a stronger recollective experience than younger adults.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Janssen, SM; Rubin, DC; St, JPL

Published Date

  • January 2011

PubMed ID

  • 21264610

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21264610

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3758/s13421-010-0003-x