Modern Psychological Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Current research in autobiographical memory gives evidence of both a retention effect and a "reminiscence bump," as well as evidence of an agerelated decline in older adults' ability to vividly recall certain memories. The present study investigated the existence of an age-related decline and the reminiscence bump in flashbulb memories, which Brown and Kutik (1977) describe as detailed, vivid, and persistent memories for unexpected, emotional events. Participants from three age groups (n=220) were questioned about three potential flashbulb memory events (9 / 11, JFK's assassination, and Pearl Harbor). Younger adults had lengthier free recall accounts for 9/11 than middle-aged and older adults, although those groups rated their memories for 9/11 as more vivid, accurate, and clear than did the younger adults. Comparing across events for the older adults, memories of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor were equally elaborate, but JFK memories were less elaborate; furthermore, older adults rated their memories of Pearl Harbor and JFK as less vivid and clear than their 9/11 memories. These findings only partially support the reminiscence bump, retention effect, and aging decline hypotheses.
BF1 .M63 v. 11 no. 1 2005
"Age and cohort differences in flashbulb memory,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 11
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol11/iss1/6