Cultural life scripts are culturally shared expectations concerning the order and timing of major life events in a prototypical life course within a given culture (Berntsen & Rubin, 2004). They are semantic knowledge about an entire life span and are acquired across childhood and adolescence.
Studies that have investigated such divergent psychological phenomena as Mental Time Travel into the past and future, life story development, the reminiscence bump, life story memories in older adults and future expectations in younger adults, as well as experimental and cross-cultural studies have all provided converging evidence that cultural life scripts should be considered the overarching principle that helps individuals organize subjective time.
During Annette Bohn’s one year at AIAS as a Jens Christian Skou Junior Fellow, she will be working on projects that further explore the hypothesis that cultural life scripts play an important role for the organization of autobiographical memory, but that they also guide expectations about the future. This will be done with varying research methods and various populations, such as adolescents, younger adults and older adults.