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Older, wiser, and happier? Comparing older adults' and college students' self-defining memories

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The present study compared self-defining memories in adults 50 years of age and older to the self-defining memories of college students. Findings are largely congruent with previous memory and ageing research, but shed additional light on how personal memories are employed to achieve a sense of identity and continuity in older adults. Older adults' self-defining memories, compared to those of younger adults, were more positive in emotional tone, more summarised and less detailed, and more likely to contain integrative meaning. The implications of these findings for assessing normative personal memory in older adults are discussed along with more general observations about narrative identity in older adulthood.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Connecticut College, New London, CT, USA 2: University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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