The Emotional Significance of Images and their Effects on Memory Performance

The Emotional Significance of Images and their Effects on Memory Performance

Length: 2968 words (8.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Individuals often perceive emotionally-charged memories as more vivid than boring ones. While this line of thinking is intuitive, does the emotional significance of faces, words, and other stimuli have an actual effect on memory performance? A number of studies have examined this relationship, indicating that emotionally negative and positive stimuli both improve memory performance over neutral stimuli. However, other studies have addressed a number of caveats that add ambiguity to the equation. It is the goal of this paper to investigate and provide clarity toward the relationship between emotion and memory among young adults. Schmidt, Patnaik, and Kensinger (2011) compared the effects of emotional and non-emotional images on memory performance in order to determine whether emotional items are remembered more vividly or if there is a bias toward emotional stimuli. They hypothesized that positive and negative images would enhance recognition memory (Schmidt, Patnaik, & Kensinger, 2011). In the experiment, 24 college students analyzed a collection of 540 images that held a random combination of negative, positive, and neutral emotional significance. Additionally, the emotional images were divided as being either low or high arousal. After the study phase, the participants were immediately subjected to a surprise recognition test for the previous images. The students were shown 270 new images with 270 images that they had previously seen. The results of the experiment indicate that positive-high arousal images were more accurately recognized than negative-high arousal images. However, negative-low arousal images were better remembered than positive-low arousal images. Overall, the emotionally arousing images were more often rec...

... middle of paper ...

...ificant relationship between recognition memory and emotion.
Atienza, M., Cantero, J. L. (2008). Modulatory effects of emotion and sleep on recollection and familiarity. Journal of Sleep Research, 17(3), 285-294.
Gutpa, R., Srinivasan, N. (2009). Emotions help memory for faces: Role of whole and parts. Cognition and Emotion, 23(4), 807-816.
Schmidt, K., Patnaik, P., Kensinger, E. A. (2011). Emotion’s influence on memory for spatial and temporal context. Cognition and Emotion, 25(2), 229-243.
Windmann, S., Chmielewski, A. (2008). Emotion-induced modulation of recognition memory decisions in a Go/NoGo task: Response bias or memory bias? Cognition and Emotion, 22(5), 761-776.
Xing, C., Isaacowitz, D. M. (2006). Aiming at happiness: How motivation affects attention to and memory for emotional images. Motivation and Emotion, 30(3), 249-256.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay On the Extinction of Voluntary Memory

- On the Extinction of Voluntary Memory Absolute certainty is a term that can rarely, if ever, be applied in any realm of human endeavor. In science, there is always a limit of precision to which any measurement can be taken. In literature, the fact that the author's language merely represents his ideas (as opposed to embodying them) leaves such conveyed ideas open to a degree of interpretation. More important than these factors, though, is that the greater part of what we today regard as knowledge is founded in theory....   [tags: Memory Psychology Psychological Papers]

Research Papers
2008 words (5.7 pages)

The Effects Of Bilingualism On Image Recognition Essay

- ... Enrique López, Psy.D., at the University of California, Los Angeles. The research study was completely voluntary and the participants’ answers remained anonymous. The computerized test was distributed to undergraduate students who were enrolled in Life Sciences. The subjects were seated at a computer and were instructed to access the CMIT test via the LS 23L core website. Students were asked to voluntarily fill out a demographic questionnaire about themselves, that included questions about their gender, their ethnicity, their primary and secondary languages, their caffeine intake, etc....   [tags: Statistics, Statistical significance, Language]

Research Papers
1181 words (3.4 pages)

Models amd Stages of Memory Essay

- ... Their model of memory known as the levels of processing model explains that contrasting the multi store model this model carries a non-structured approach. This idea was shaped due to an effect of the criticism levelled at the multi store model. Craik and Lockhart (1972) model idea basically is that memory is the happening and result of one’s information process. As a substitute of focusing on the stores or structures like the LTM and STM, concentration in this theory is given more to the processes involved in memory....   [tags: encoding, processing, recall]

Research Papers
755 words (2.2 pages)

The Significance of Family Meals in Faulkner’s Barn Burning, Shall Not Perish, and Two Soldiers

- The Significance of Family Meals in Faulkner’s Barn Burning, Shall Not Perish, and Two Soldiers The meal, and more specifically the concept of the family meal, has traditional connotations of comfort and togetherness. As shown in three of Faulkner’s short stories in “The Country”, disruptions in the life of the family are often reinforced in the plot of the story by disruptions in the meal. In “Barn Burning”, Abner enters the house at dusk and “could smell the coffee from the room where they would presently eat the cold food remaining from the afternoon meal.” (14) A warm meal would indicate fulfillment and cohesiveness within the family....   [tags: Barn Burning Shall Not Perish Two Soldiers]

Free Essays
441 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about The Effects of Music on Memory

- It can be proven, through literary research and personal experiences, that music has a positive effect on learning and memory. It can be concluded that these positive effects have an impact on patients with Alzheimer’s, on the motor skills and auditory memory of mentally disabled children, on students attempting to remember subject manner that they are learning, and on the affectivity of advertisements. On a personal note, music has facilitated my ability to remember things, both positive and negative, a number of times....   [tags: Mozart Effect, Music and Memory]

Research Papers
2780 words (7.9 pages)

The Effects Of Sleep On Memory Consolidation Essay

- In a 1973 study, Mary Janet Fowler, Micheal J. Sullivan and Bruce R. Ekstrand found that there was a higher retention of paired associate words when the subjects slept during the first half of the night than when they were awake during the day (Gais, Lucas & Born, 2006) Criticism of Sleep and Memory Consolidation Findings Though there are a number of studies that have found that sleep has an influence on memory consolidation, recently there has been new research conducted that raises questions about those findings....   [tags: Sleep, Sleep deprivation, Memory]

Research Papers
1850 words (5.3 pages)

The Effects Of Classical Music On Memory Essay

- Classical music as recall enhancer It is a stark reality that memory tends to fade with the passing of the years. “To do lists” usually become part of older people’s daily routines. Methods to decrease such negative effects are widely sought to counter this problem: self-help books, brain games, and supplements such as Ginkgo Biloba. Scientifically, there are a small number of studies indicating that music can help people’s mood and emotion, and thus improve positive effects on memory processes....   [tags: Brain, Cerebral cortex, Memory, Hippocampus]

Research Papers
1185 words (3.4 pages)

The Effects Of Sleep Intervals And Long Term Memory Retention Essay

- ... The theory of system consolidation aids in obtaining a base knowledge in understanding the transfer of memories from the short-term to the long-term memory portions of the brain. In, Born, Gais and Wagner 2001 article Emotional Memory Formation Is Enhanced across Sleep Intervals with High Amounts of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
, the aim of the study was to compare memory retention of emotion versus neutral material over interval in either slow wave sleep (SWS) or in rapid eye movement sleep (REM)....   [tags: Memory, Sleep, Hippocampus, Declarative memory]

Research Papers
1116 words (3.2 pages)

The Effects Of Memory On The Brain That Are Responsible For Memory Essay

- Memory has many functions in animals and humans. Without memory, animals and humans would not survive (Henke, 2010). The main idea of evolutionary psychology is that the structures in the brain that are responsible for memory are similar to one another (Nairne, 2010). It is likely that memory systems evolved due to pressures or problems that our ancestors faced (Nairne, 2010). This suggests that memory mechanisms probably come from solving problems in the environment our ancestors once lived in (Nairne, 2010)....   [tags: Memory, Hippocampus, Long-term potentiation]

Research Papers
2039 words (5.8 pages)

Essay on Memory

- Memory is defined as "the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information." Our memory can be compared to a computer's information processing system. To remember an event we need to get information into our brain which is encoding, store the information and then be able to retrieve it. The three-stage processing model of Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin suggests that we record information that we want to remember first as a fleeting sensory memory and then it is processed into a short term memory bin where we encode it ( pay attention to encode important or novel stimuli) for long-term memory and later retrieval....   [tags: Psychology]

Research Papers
455 words (1.3 pages)