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Emotion. 2010 Aug;10(4):599-603. doi: 10.1037/a0018426.

The effect of low versus high approach-motivated positive affect on memory for peripherally versus centrally presented information.

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Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


Emotions influence attention and processes involved in memory. Although some research has suggested that positive affect categorically influences these processes differently than neutral affect, recent research suggests that motivational intensity of positive affective states influences these processes. The present experiments examined memory for centrally or peripherally presented information after the evocation of approach-motivated positive affect. Experiment 1 found that, relative to neutral conditions, pregoal, approach-motivated positive affect (caused by a monetary incentives task) enhanced memory for centrally presented information, whereas postgoal, low approach-motivated positive affect enhanced memory for peripherally presented information. Experiment 2 found that, relative to a neutral condition, high approach-motivated positive affect (caused by appetitive pictures) enhanced memory for centrally presented information but hindered memory for peripheral information. These results suggest a more complex relationship between positive affect and memory processes and highlight the importance of considering the motivational intensity of positive affects in cognitive processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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