Good mood can fog your memory

March 31st, 2011 - 12:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 31 (IANS) Though good mood brings along cheerfulness and positive feelings, it is also linked with forgetfulness, as such a state of mind decreases your working memory capacity.

“Working memory, for example, is the ability to recall items in a conversation as you are having it,” said Elizabeth Martin, doctoral student of psychology at the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science, who led the study.

“This explains why you might not be able to remember a phone number you get at a party, when you are having a good time. This research is the first to show that positive mood can negatively impact working memory storage capacity,” said Martin, the journal Cognition and Emotion reports.

Researchers gauged participants’ mood before and after showing them a video clip. Some were shown a segment of a stand-up comedy routine, while others watched an instructional video on how to install flooring, according to a Missouri statement.

Following the videos, those who viewed the comedy routine were in significantly better moods after viewing the video, while the mood of those who viewed the flooring video had not changed.

After watching the videos, both groups completed a memory test. Those who watched the comedy routine and were in a better mood performed significantly worse on the task.

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