Monday, June 24, 2013
What role does emotion play in memory? Provide an example in your response.
The role that emotion plays in memory is that it is one factor that can influence memory. If a subject is important to an individual than it might hold an emotionally significant for that individual, therefore the memory of that subject might be influenced. Individuals usually find an emotional event memorable, which influences the memory of that event. An individual’s clearest memories are usually memories that have an emotional significance, which indicates an important role for emotion in memory (Willingham, 2007). When a memory holds a positive or negative emotional response for an individual it can be easier to remember that memory or store it in secondary memory and retrieve it from secondary memory and put it into primary memory. However there is an appearance that the intensity of an emotion of importance whether positive or negative has no relevant significance. Studies have shown there is a positive correlation between how vivid a memory seems and how emotional it is (Willingham, 2007). Examples of emotion playing a role in memory are the emotions I felt when I saw each of my children’s births. Each birth had an emotional significance that fosters the memory of those events for me. These are events that I am likely to not forget or they are easily retrieved from secondary memory and put it into primary memory.
Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.