Journal Article

The tracks of my years: Personal significance contributes to the reminiscence bump


​Two studies investigated the role of the self in the reminiscence bump (heightened retrieval for events from young adulthood). Participants over the age of 40 years were presented with top-grossing films and songs, and were asked to select the five that were most personally significant. Study 1 produced reminiscence bumps for personally significant songs, when measured by both participants’ age at release (AaR) and age when songs were reported as most important (AaI). This effect was not shown for films. In Study 2, participants again selected their personally significant songs but also rated all songs for whether they were known, remembered (e.g., associated with an episodic memory), or not known. Personally significant songs were significantly more likely to be associated with episodic memories, compared to personally non-significant songs. Again, only personally significant songs formed a reminiscence bump. Findings underline a critical role of personal significance in the reminiscence bump, which we argue is consistent with the formation of identity in this lifetime period.

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Rathbone, C
O'Connor, A
Moulin, C

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health


Year of publication: 2016
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-02-16

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of The tracks of my years: Personal significance contributes to the reminiscence bump


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