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Emotions ↑ remembering : An Investigation into Emotions’ Role in Episodic Memory Miao, Shengxi (Angela); Alaifan, Nada; Graf, Peter 2020-04

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Emotions ↑ remembering: AnInvestigation into Emotions’ Role in Episodic Memory Shengxi (Angela) Miao, BA, xidetianshi@gmail.comNada Alaifan, MAPeter Graf, PhDDepartment of PsychologyUniversity of British Columbia Reasons for the Study -People tend to remember more vividly emotional events from their daily lives (Mather, 2015).  Evidence comes mainly from the research on autobiographical memory. The results from episodic memory are unclear.  -In some episodic memory studies, emotional events are remember better than emotionally neutral events (Davidson & Vanegas, 2015; Bradley, Greenwald,  Petry  & Lang, 1992); others suggests that remembering is equivalent for emotional and nonemotional events  (Sharot & Yonelinas, 2008). -Past studies also show mixed results on the sex difference on emotional memory, where some show females outperform males in emotionally neutral memory tests (Gomez, Guntan & Danuser, 2020), while others indicate females remember more emotional events than males (Bloise & Johnson, 2007). Specific Research Questions-Given the mixed nature of past studies, the objectives of the present study are:1) To demonstrate under which condition the enhanced emotional memory occur.2) To understand what role does sex play between these two variables. Thus, the present study intends to see if there is a sex difference on episodic memory recollection.Method & Procedure Participant: 188 Undergraduate students at UBC (96 females) participated for partial course credit  Encoding Phase (~10min): There were 3 kinds of pictures: Positive, Negative & Neutral, all from the NAPS norms. 20 pictures from each valence bin were show, arranged in random order. Intermission Phase (~15min):      ● NEO Personality Inventory● TMF Gender Scale (Kachel et al., 2016)● NAARTTest Phase (~25min): ● Each participant was asked to free recall the pictures they memorized from the encoding phase to the best of their ability in random order ● Participant was asked to provide distinctive details of the respective pictures. How does it make you feel? 1        2        3         4         5        6Very Unpleasant Very Pleasant Free recall test :1) Subjects were required to recall as many previously seen pictures as possible. 2) They were asked to provide distinctive details for each respective picture they recall, so that the researcher would be able to distinguish that picture among other ones.3) Each recall test was recorded and transcribed with the corresponding researcher, and 1 score was given to each picture with successful distinguisher. 4) The scorings were checked among three researchers, where disagreement was discussed and final consensus was reached. Memory Test Scoring Error bars represent the 95% confidence intervalsRecall Test Results: Significant differences due to valence-Emotional pictures are recalled significantly more than neutral pictures.-Significant sex differences emerged for positive and neutral valence condition, but not for negative valence condition.Error bars represent the 95% confidence intervalsRecall Test Results: Results seem determined by strategy used for recollection In the first ⅓ of recalled pictures:-Emotional pictures were recalled significantly more -Significant gender effect emerged only for positive valence conditionIn the last ⅓  of recalled pictures:-Emotional pictures were recalled significantly more only for males -Significant sex difference emerged only for neutral condition Results  -Encoding phase: Response Time (RT) Error bars represent the 95% confidence intervals-Significant time difference for negative valence condition group-No significant sex difference on RT for each valence condition Error bars represent the 95% confidence intervalsResults  -Encoding phase: Picture Rating-Significant difference of rating across all three valence conditions, indicates our valence manipulation worked -Significant sex differences on picture rating occur for negative and neutral valence condition Discussion ● Results of the current study is consistent with past study ( Bradley, Greenwald, Petry & Lang, 1992) that emotional pictures were remembered more than neutral pictures. Potential reason might be the free recall test used encourages more self-initiated memory process  ● Results show a sex difference on the overall pictures recalled and the order of memorized pictures. This suggests a potential sex difference of memory strategies adopted by males vs. females. Female shift their recollection strategy to remember more neutral pictures in the later part of the test, while male’s recollection strategy keeps constant. This difference could have a potential link to the ToM by sex● The implications that the present study may inform other areas of research, or vice versa: relationship between emotional memory and mood disorder, where emotional memory can be potentially involved (depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, etc.) and linked to the component of personality construction. Example and rationale see  Blaney (1986). 


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