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Effects of Emotions and Cognitive Load on Memory

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  1. Effects of Emotions and Cognitive Load on Memory Presented at the University of California, Irvine by Namrata Mahajan May 14, 2005

  2. Acknowledgements • Research Assistants: • Tiffany Fan, UCI • Allyson Dong, UCI • Sarah Roper-Coleman, UCI • Dr. Peter H. Ditto, UCI Mentor • Dr. Valerie Jenness, UCI Honors Seminar Instructor • Funding: • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

  3. Memory is Important!!! - Memory is important to be able to function in everyday life! • Riding a bicycle • Counting change • Driving • Remembering the name of someone you just met

  4. What is Memory? Memory is the ability to use or to remember information that was previously encoded or processed (Ericsson & Chase, 1982).

  5. Memory and Emotions Studies show that emotionally charged events are remembered better than ordinary, neutral events (e.g. Christianson, 1992). • Mood Congruent Theory- We remember events that match our current mood.

  6. Memory & Cognitive Load • Cognitive Load- The “total amount of mental activity imposed on working-memory at an instance in time” (Cooper, 1998). Working-Memory  Long-Term Memory - Excessive cognitive loads affect memory and make learning more difficult.

  7. Hypotheses • H1 : Participants will remember mood-congruent better than mood-incongruent information. • H2 : Participants without cognitive load will remember information better than those with cognitive load. • H3 : Participants under both an emotional condition and cognitive load will remember more mood- congruent information.

  8. Methods

  9. Methods • Demographics(e.g. age, ethnicity etc). • Emotion Elicitation Task • e.g. “Please describe three to five things that make you the most happy.” • Learning Task(30 slides with or without cognitive load). • 10 happy • 10 sad • 10 neutral • Distracter Activity • Recognition Task • Debriefing

  10. Methods • Demographics(e.g. age, ethnicity etc). • Emotion Elicitation Task • e.g. “Please describe three to five things that make you the most happy.” • Learning Task(30 slides with or without cognitive load). • 10 happy • 10 sad • 10 neutral • Distracter Activity • Recognition Task • Debriefing

  11. Happy

  12. Sad

  13. Neutral

  14. Methods • Demographics(e.g. age, ethnicity etc). • Emotion Elicitation Task • e.g. “Please describe three to five things that make you the most happy.” • Learning Task (30 slides with or without cognitive load). • 10 happy • 10 sad • 10 neutral • Distracter Activity • Recognition Task • Debriefing

  15. Distracter Activity (Anagrams)

  16. Methods • Demographics(e.g. age, ethnicity etc). • Emotion Elicitation Task • e.g. “Please describe three to five things that make you the most happy.” • Learning Task (30 slides with or without cognitive load). • 10 happy • 10 sad • 10 neutral • Distracter Activity • Recognition Task • Debriefing

  17. Methods • Demographics(e.g. age, ethnicity etc). • Emotion Elicitation Task • “Please describe three to five things that make you the most happy.” • Learning Task (30 slides with or without cognitive load). • 10 happy • 10 sad • 10 neutral • Distracter Activity • Recognition Task • Debriefing

  18. Results

  19. Participants - Gender N=200

  20. Participants - Ethnicity

  21. H1 : Participants will remember mood-congruent slides better than mood-incongruent slides.

  22. H1 : Participants will remember mood-congruent slides better than mood-incongruent slides.

  23. Method • Each participant given score out of a possible 20 • 20 = no false positives and no mistakes

  24. H1 : Participants will remember mood-congruent slides better than mood-incongruent slides.

  25. H1 : Participants will remember mood-congruent slides better than mood-incongruent slides.

  26. H1 : Participants will remember mood-congruent slides better than mood-incongruent slides.

  27. Mean Number of Slides Accurately Recognized

  28. No Load Load H2 : Participants without cognitive load will remember slides better than those with cognitive load.

  29. Mean number of slides accurately recognized No Load Load

  30. Mean Number of Slides Accurately Recognized Although not significant, there is a trend for participants without cognitive load to have higher accuracy rates than participants with cognitive load. Mean Number of Slides Accurately Recognized Cognitive Load

  31. H3 :Participants under both an emotional condition and cognitive load will remember more mood congruent slides. No Load Load

  32. H3 :Participants under both an emotional condition and cognitive load will remember more mood congruent slides. No Load Load

  33. Mean number of slides accurately recognized No Load Load

  34. Mean number of slides accurately recognized No Load Load

  35. Possible Explanations and Future Directions • Ceiling Effects • Number of Slides • Timing • Distracter Activity • Emotion Eliciting Activity

  36. For more information, please contact… Namrata Mahajan Department of Psychology and Social Behavior University of California, Irvine nmahajan@uci.edu