The goal of this paper is to present empirical evidence supporting the transformation of recall abilities along the life cycle, specifically those tied to socio-culturally relevant historical events. Two groups, 42 old adults and 22 young adults, participated in two studies designed to analyse fluidity and accuracy in experimental tasks. The results consistently show that old adults outperform young adults: they achieve better rates of fluidity recalling historical events and better rates of accuracy both in recognising and dating them. We theorise that the autobiographical memory system acts as an implicit scaffold that facilitates the task for old adults, thus explaining the transformation. As we advance along the development trajectory, we become "native rememberers" and, as such, recalling historical events becomes a natural and expert task.
- Memory and history