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The mood-enhancement function of autobiographical memories: Comparisons with other functions in terms of emotional valence


Wolf, Tabea; Demiray, Burcu (2019). The mood-enhancement function of autobiographical memories: Comparisons with other functions in terms of emotional valence. Consciousness and Cognition, 70:88-100.

Abstract

In two studies, we examined the emotional valence of memories used for mood-enhancement in relation to memories serving self, social and directive functions. Our sample included a total of 263 participants aged between 45 and 82 years. In Study 1, participants recalled memories in response to 51 cue words. In Study 2, participants recalled 32 memories that served the four functions (eight memories per function). We used multilevel modeling to take into consideration the hierarchical nature of our datasets (memories nested within individuals). Study 1 showed that emotional valence was positively associated with mood-enhancement and social functions, whereas negatively related to self and directive functions. This relation was strongest for the mood-enhancement function. In Study 2, mood-enhancing memories were rated as more positive than self, social and directive memories. We discussed results in terms of the tripartite model of memory functions and proposed that mood-enhancement should represent a distinct function.

Abstract

In two studies, we examined the emotional valence of memories used for mood-enhancement in relation to memories serving self, social and directive functions. Our sample included a total of 263 participants aged between 45 and 82 years. In Study 1, participants recalled memories in response to 51 cue words. In Study 2, participants recalled 32 memories that served the four functions (eight memories per function). We used multilevel modeling to take into consideration the hierarchical nature of our datasets (memories nested within individuals). Study 1 showed that emotional valence was positively associated with mood-enhancement and social functions, whereas negatively related to self and directive functions. This relation was strongest for the mood-enhancement function. In Study 2, mood-enhancing memories were rated as more positive than self, social and directive memories. We discussed results in terms of the tripartite model of memory functions and proposed that mood-enhancement should represent a distinct function.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:April 2019
Deposited On:26 Jun 2019 13:15
Last Modified:26 Jun 2019 13:15
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8100
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2019.03.002
PubMed ID:30884386

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