There’s a stereotype that always plays out in movies and TV shows: the husband forgets his wedding anniversary and upsets his wife.

There might be something to that stereotype after all… psychologists have found that wives are much more likely to remember little details about their wedding days than husbands are.

The study by researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney and Dickinson College in the United States asked 39 couples who had been married for between 13 and 65 years to talk about what they remembered about their wedding days. The couples were interviewed both separately and together to see how their recollections varied.

They found that on average, women recalled about a quarter more details than the men did. Details women were more likely to remember included what the weather was like and what clothing people were wearing.

Professor Azriel Grysman, who led the study, said ‘A system has developed in couples in which both spouses recognise that the wife usually takes primary responsibility when reminiscing about shared family events. Women simply remember more details relating to the event as it was unfolding – the who, what, where and when.

‘Young girls and later women are encouraged by parents and their peers to talk about their memories in a way that puts greater emphasis on thoughts, feelings and relationships. This leads to a greater focus by women on more details in their memories.’