Most people have their best memories when they are 25
A new study has revealed that by the time most people are 25, they have made the most important memories of their lives.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that when older adults were asked to tell their life stories, they overwhelmingly highlighted the central influence of life transitions in their memories. Many of these transitions, such as marriage and having children, occurred early in life.
"When people look back over their lives and recount their most important memories, most divide their life stories into chapters defined by important moments that are universal for many: a physical move, attending college, a first job, marriage, military experience, and having children," Kristina Steiner, a doctoral student in psychology at UNH and the study's lead researcher, said.
In the UNH study, researchers found a pronounced "reminiscence bump" between ages 17 and 24, when many people defined chapters of their life story beginning and ending. A reminiscence bump is a period of time between the ages of 15 and 30 when many memories, positive and negative, expected and unexpected, are recalled.
"Many studies have consistently found that when adults are asked to think about their lives and report memories, remembered events occurring between the ages of 15 to 30 are over-represented," Steiner said.
The research is published in the journal Memory.
(Posted on 20-02-2014)