Mini experiment:Emotions Impact on Memory

Jul 20 09:06 2015 Nino Tsereteli Print This Article

This article is about my mini study. I wondered if information's emotional content has an impact on its recall and I proved my hypothesis, that we remember positive contents better, than negative or neutral information. 

It’s interesting if the emotional content of information has an impact on its recall. Maybe we assume that we remember emotional information better,Guest Posting than indifferent one, but there is one question: Is this difference statistically important? We tried to prove this problem in our mini experiment.
Many psychologists have considered their opinions in their emotional memory’s studies, but their conclusions were not the same. Some of them reckon that emotional content really has an impact on its recall, but others don’t agree with them. For example, first, who investigated this problem, was Ebbinghaus (1880). In his experiment he gave the participants indifferent, negative and positive words and proved, that positive words were the best recalled. Freud (1990) explained this fact with, unpleasantness motive”. According to this motive a person tries negative stimuli repression from his mind and to protect his ego on this way. But Blonsky (1961) came to the absolutely another conclusion. Based on a big empirical material, he proved that we recall negative information better, than positive or neutral one, because negative content has a sense of a signal that is a warning that forces us to mobilize. In old times it was a biological mechanism of life saving and that’s why it’s hard to forget negative information. We tried to investigate which opinion was right.
For our experiment we selected 30 students (aged 18-25) from Georgia’s Universities. The selection was randomized. During experiment we provided the participants with the raw of mixed –neutral, negative and positive words (The words emotional content was evaluated by the experts before this experiment. We picked out the words that have the highest value of being neutral, negative or positive). These words were:
1. The words with the positive content: Happiness, Rest, Sun, Love, Travel, Dream.
2. Negative content: Snake, Envy, War, Violence, Cancer, Corpse.
3. Neutral words: Sphere, Paper, Polar, Triangle, Text, Leaf.
We repeated this raw twice, but the words succession in the first and the second time was different, because we wanted to avoid the learning effect (when a person learns words in the beginning and the end of the raw). After 40 minutes we asked them to recall. After this, we used Student’s T defendant Criteria for statistical analyses. Our hypothesis that information with positive content is better recalled than neutral or negative ones, proved and this difference is statistically important.
We think that this study has weak side, because it isn’t conducted in a large population and that’s why it’s hard to generalize, but anyway the results are important.

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About Article Author

Nino Tsereteli
Nino Tsereteli

I am a psychology student at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. 

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