Age effects in cultural life scripts
Life scripts are culturally shared expectations about the timing of life events in an idealized life course. Because they are cultural semantic knowledge, they should be known by all adult age groups including those who have not lived through all events in the life script, but this has not been tested previously. Young, middle-aged and older adults from the Netherlands were therefore asked in this online study to imagine an ordinary Dutch infant and to name the seven most important events that were likely to take place in the life of this prototypical child. Participants subsequently answered questions about at what ages these events were expected to occur and about their prevalence, importance and valence. We found that the cultural life script was similar for young, middle-aged and older adults and for adults with different educational attainment. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.