Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Exploring life events


BA assignment: Yes

Internal or external? Internal                                                                                               

How many students possible? 4

Own data collection: YES 

Type of research: qualitative empirical    

EC: 15       



Memories can play a major role in one’s life. Especially big moments, life events, can have an impact. We want to know more about those life events. When do people consider an event as a life event? Does it have to be a turning point in order to be a life event? What are common themes, which emotions were and are involved, which other persons play(ed) a role, what was the impact back then and now in daily life, is it part of their identity? Do persons from different generations have different interpretations of life events?


Each student has to interview 3-4 persons, using the Life Story Interview of McAdams as a guideline. A focus group with persons from different generations to gather data can be an option as well. Transcribed interviews/focus groups are being analyzed (e.g. using the holistic content analysis of Lieblich et al.). Specific target groups and focus points can be discussed at the first meeting, so that each student can write their own thesis.


Note: Students are responsible for the recruitment of participants they are going to interview or include in the focus group.


More information:

McAdams, D. P., Reynolds, J., Lewis, M., Patten, A. H., & Bowman, P. J. (2001). When bad things turn good and good things turn bad: Sequences of redemption and contamination in life narrative and their relation to psychosocial adaptation in midlife adults and in students. Personality and social psychology bulletin27(4), 474-485.



Supervisors: Teuntje Elfrink & Anneke Sools