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Reminiscence is the act of recollecting past experiences or events, such as when a person shares his personal stories with others or allows other people to live vicariously through stories of family, friends, and acquaintances while gaining an authentic meaningful relationship with a person. Grandparents are often among those who reminiscence to their grandchildren, sharing their individual experience of what the past was like.
The study of reminiscence has a long history, which is shortly described in Eysenck and Frith (1977, chapter 1):
Reminiscence is a technical term, coined by Ballard in 1913, denoting improvement in the performance of a partially learned act that occurs while the subject is resting, that is, not performing the act in question. (Eysenck and Frith, 1977, page 3).
The reality of reminiscence was first experimentally demonstrated by Oehrn (1896). In experiments on reminiscence the same task is always administered twice or more. One is mainly interested in the effect of the rest periods between the tasks. Learning might not be apparent within a task but it may be across tasks.
- Eysenck, H.J. and Frith, C.D. (1977). Reminiscence, motivation and personality. London Plenum Press.
- Oehrn, A. (1896). Experimentelle Studiëen zur Individualpsychologie [Experimental research on the study of individual differences]. Psychologische Arbeiten, 1, 92–151.
- "Reminiscence | Define Reminiscence at Dictionary.com." Dictionary.com <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reminiscence>.
- "Rethinking Reminiscence: We All Lose When Memories Are Lost or Forgotten." LifeBio. <http://lifebio.blogspot.com/2011/06/rethinking-reminiscence-we-all-lose.html>.
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