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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigating the effects of emotion on temporal duration memory using naturalistic virtual reality Safi, Omran Khan


Our memories for temporal duration may be colored by the emotions we experience during an event. While emotion generally enhances memory, temporal duration has been shown to be particularly suspectable to emotion-induced inaccuracies. However, prior work has faced difficulty when studying this phenomenon, having to compromise on ecological validity or experimental control. Here, I sought to bridge this gap by studying the effects of emotion on temporal duration memory using virtual reality. In the present study, a final sample of N = 69 participants experienced a series of negative-emotional and neutral worlds within virtual reality. Following this, participants provided ratings of pleasantness, arousal, valence, and a retrospective duration estimate. I hypothesized that negative events would be recalled as having a greater duration and then neutral events. I additionally hypothesized that negative, but not neutral, events would be recalled as being longer than the true duration. The results supported the first hypothesis while going against the second. Therefore, we were able to replicate a long-standing finding while also observing a divergent result, which introduces nuance to this body of work. Together, the results contribute to a broader literature on the effects of emotion on temporal duration memory.

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