Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Being in a good mood may lead to poor memory

Date:
March 31, 2011
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Most people have had trouble remembering something they just heard. Now, a researcher found that forgetfulness may have something to do with being in a good mood. She found that being in a good mood decreases your working memory capacity.

Most people have had trouble remembering something they just heard. Now, a University of Missouri researcher found that forgetfulness may have something to do with being in a good mood. Elizabeth Martin, a doctoral student of psychology in the College of Arts and Science, has found that being in a good mood decreases your working memory capacity.

"Working memory, for example, is the ability to recall items in a conversation as you are having it," Martin said. "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. This shows that although systems in the brain are connected, it is possible to affect one process but not others."

Researchers gauged study participants' mood before and after showing them a video clip. Some participants were shown a segment of a stand-up comedy routine, while others watched an instructional video on how to install flooring. Following the videos, those that viewed the comedy routine were in significantly better moods after viewing the video, while the mood of those that viewed the flooring video had not changed.

After watching the videos, both groups completed a memory test. This test provides several numbers to a participant through headphones at a rate of four numbers per second. After the recording stopped, participants were asked to recall the last six numbers in order. Those that watched the comedy routine and were in a better mood performed significantly worse on the task.

"While working memory storage is decreased, being in a good mood is not all bad," Martin said. "Being in a good mood has been shown to increase creative problem-solving skills and other aspects of thinking." Martin said future research should analyze the impact of mood on working memory storage capacity in real life situations, such as a classroom setting.

The study was published earlier this year in the journal Cognition and Emotion. The research was funded by grants awarded to research advisor Associate Professor John Kerns from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and a grant from the MU Research Board.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth Martin, John Kerns. The influence of positive mood on different aspects of cognitive control. Cognition & Emotion, 2011; 25 (2): 265 DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2010.491652

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Being in a good mood may lead to poor memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330131344.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2011, March 31). Being in a good mood may lead to poor memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330131344.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Being in a good mood may lead to poor memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330131344.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins