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Emot Rev. 2009 Apr;1(2):118-119. doi: 10.1177/1754073908100435. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

Disentangling the effects of arousal and valence on memory for intrinsic details.

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1
University of Southern California.

Abstract

Kensinger (in press) and Mather (2007) both argue that intrinsic features of emotional items are remembered better than intrinsic features of non-emotional items. However, Kensinger attributes these effects to negative valence whereas Mather attributes them to arousal. In this paper, we note several reasons why arousal may be the driving factor even when a study reveals more detailed memory for negative items than for positive items. We also reanalyze previous data (Mather & Nesmith, 2008) to show that although both arousal and negative valence were correlated with memory accuracy, enhanced memory accuracy was accounted for by arousal rather than valence.

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