Overshadowing the Reminiscence Bump: Memories of a Struggle for Independence

Abstract

We describe a study in which young and older groups of Bangladeshi participants recalled and dated autobiographical memories from across the lifespan. Memories were subsequently plotted in terms of the age of participants at time of encoding. As expected the reminiscence bump, preferential recall of memories from the period of 10 to 30 years of age, was observed. This was very marked in the younger group and but less so in the older group who also showed a second bump in the period 35 to 55 years of age. This second bump corresponded to the period of national conflict between Pakistan and the Bengalee people that resulted in the formation of an independent Bangladesh. It is proposed that both the reminiscence bump and later periods of unexpected rises in recall can be accounted for by the raised accessibility of sets of memories and this in turn is a product of the privileged encoding of highly self-relevant experiences.

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Correspondence to Martin A. Conway.

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Conway, M.A., Haque, S. Overshadowing the Reminiscence Bump: Memories of a Struggle for Independence. Journal of Adult Development 6, 35–44 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021672208155

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  • Collective self
  • group identity
  • preferential recall
  • Bangladesh
  • goals