The reminiscence bump is the tendency for older adults to have increased recollection for events that occurred during their adolescence and early adulthood. It was identified through the study of autobiographical memory and the subsequent plotting of the age of encoding of memories to form the lifespan retrieval curve.
The Life Span Retrieval Curve is a graph that represents the number of autobiographical memories encoded at various ages during the life span. The lifespan retrieval curve contains three different parts. From birth to five years old is a period of childhood amnesia, from 10 to 30 years old is the reminiscence bump and last is a period of forgetting from the end of the reminiscence bump to present time. The reminiscence bump has been observed on the life span retrieval curve in multiple studies.
The reminiscence bump occurs because memory storage in autobiographical memory is not consistent through time. Rather, memory storage increases during times of changes in the self and in life goals, such as the changes in identity that occur during adolescence.
Researchers have consistently observed the reminiscence bump, the period of increased memory accessibility in participants' lifespan retrieval curves, and the bump has been reproduced under a range of study conditions.
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A reminiscence sing.”
—Walt Whitman (18191892)
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