Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
Retrograde effects of emotion on memory for related events
And thanks to @BecketTodd for introducing me to another mentor, @DanielaJPalombo whose passion for science and students’ growth undoubtedly brightens up any room???? #GreatSupervisor #UBC
And thanks to @BecketTodd for introducing me to another mentor, @DanielaJPalombo whose passion for science and students' growth undoubtedly brightens up any room #GreatSupervisor #UBC
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
Memory for emotional stimuli (e.g., words, images) is typically enhanced, while the remembered duration of negative emotional experiences is overestimated. However, little is known about how emotion affects temporal order memory or how memory is influenced by an environmentally induced emotional state (without any overtly emotional occurrences). In the present study, a sample of N=595 participants was randomly divided into discovery (N=297) and replication (N=298) subsamples using a split-half cross-validation approach. Participants viewed a 15-minute video of a first-person virtual world experience which contains neutral test stimuli and induces diverse emotional responses. Participants then completed tests of item, temporal order, and duration memory, and rated emotion and arousal induced by the virtual world experience. I hypothesized that greater subjective arousal and negative emotion would be related to enhanced item memory, impaired temporal order memory, and longer duration estimates. A Partial Least Squares Correlation analysis produced one significant latent variable in both the discovery (p=.039) and replication samples (p<.001 revealing="" positive="" correlations="" between="" subjective="" threat="" and="" anxiety="" ratios="">1.96) and item and temporal order memory (p’s<.05 duration="" memory="" and="" bias="" did="" not="" contribute="" to="" this="" pattern.="" the="" replication="" sample="" yielded="" additional="" contributions="" of="" arousal="" fear="" latent="" variable.="" these="" findings="" demonstrate="" that="" an="" environmentally="" induced="" state="" negative="" emotion="" corresponds="" with="" enhanced="" memory.="">
Emotional events are often remembered better than neutral ones, however emotion can also spill over and affect our memory for neutral experiences that happened before an emotional event. Recently proposed theories suggest that emotion can retroactively enhance memory for preceding neutral events if they are deemed high priority, whilst impairing memory for those deemed low priority. However, the effects of the conceptual relationship between preceding neutral and emotional events on memory for the preceding information have yet to be investigated. Conceptual relatedness refers to the extent to which stimuli are connected either semantically or schematically. In this study, I investigated the effects of conceptual relatedness on the retroactive effects of emotion on memory. To do so, I used a unique paradigm where participants sequentially encoded pairs of images that were either related or unrelated. The first image was always neutral, whereas the second image was either negative or neutral. Participants then returned 24 hours later to complete a recognition memory assessment. Consistent with prior research on emotional memory, emotional images were remembered better than neutral images. Additionally, in support of our hypothesis, emotion enhanced memory for preceding images that were related, however it impaired memory for preceding images that were unrelated. These findings indicate that the effects of emotion on memory for preceding events are dependent on the conceptual relationship between them.