Investigations of the recovery and falsification of childhood memories have used one construct in lieu of another. Autobiographical memories have typically not been distinguished from autobiographical beliefs, and researchers have assumed that plausibility and schematic knowledge measure identical constructs. We tested the hypothesis that plausibility, autobiographical belief, and autobiographical memory are nested constructs, such that memory implies belief and belief implies plausibility.
The dimension of valence ranges from highly positive to highly negative, whereas the dimension of arousal ranges from calming or soothing to exciting or agitating. However, a growing body of research is dedicated to the emotional valence dimension and its effects on memory.
It has been claimed that this is an essential step towards a more complete understanding of emotion effects on memory. At the encoding level the following mechanisms have been suggested as mediators of emotion effects on memory: Selectivity of attention[ edit ] Easterbrook's  cue utilization theory predicted that high levels of arousal will lead to attention narrowing, defined as a decrease in the range of cues from the stimulus and its environment to which the organism is sensitive.
According to this hypothesis, attention will be focused primarily on the arousing details cues of the stimulus, so that information central to the source of the emotional arousal will be encoded while peripheral details will not.
In laboratory replications it was found that participants spend a disproportionate amount of time looking at a weapon in a scene, and this looking time is inversely related to the likelihood that individuals will subsequently identify the perpetrator of the crime.
Arousal enhances perception and memory of high priority stimuli but impairs perception and memory of low priority stimuli. Priority can be determined by bottom-up salience or by top-down goals.
Prioritized processing[ edit ] Emotional items also appear more likely to be processed when attention is limited, suggesting a facilitated or prioritized processing of emotional information. The typical finding is that participants often miss the second target item, as if there were a "blink" of attention following the first target's presentation, reducing the likelihood that the second target stimulus is attended.
However, when the second target stimulus elicits emotional arousal a "taboo" wordparticipants are less likely to miss the target's presentation,  which suggests that under conditions of limited attention, arousing items are more likely to be processed than neutral items.
Additional support for the Prioritized processing hypothesis was provided by studies investigating the visual extinction deficit. People suffering from this deficit can perceive a single stimulus in either side visual field if it is presented alone but are unaware of the same stimulus in the visual field opposed to the lesional side, if another stimulus is presented simultaneously on the lesional side.
Emotion has been found to modulate the magnitude of the visual extinction deficit, so that items that signal emotional relevance e.
A number of studies show that over time, memories for neutral stimuli decrease but memories for arousing stimuli remain the same or improve.
A few studies have even found that emotionally arousing stimuli enhance memory only after a delay. The most famous of these was a study by Kleinsmith and Kaplan  that found an advantage for numbers paired with arousing words over those paired with neutral words only at delayed test, but not at immediate test.
As outlined by Mather the Kleinsmith and Kaplan effects were most likely due to a methodological confound. However, Sharot and Phelps  found better recognition of arousing words over neutral words at a delayed test but not at an immediate test, supporting the notion that there is enhanced memory consolidation for arousing stimuli.
Another possible explanation for the findings of the emotional arousal delayed effect is post-event processing regarding the cause of the arousal.
According to the post stimulus elaboration PSE hypothesis,  an arousing emotional experience may cause more effort to be invested in elaboration of the experience, which would subsequently be processed at a deeper level than a neutral experience.
Elaboration refers to the process of establishing links between newly encountered information and previously stored information.
It has long been known that when individuals process items in an elaborative fashion, such that meaning is extracted from items and inter-item associations are formed, memory is enhanced. However, these processes could also disrupt consolidation of memories for peripheral details.
Christianson suggested that the combined action of perceptual, attentional, and elaborative processing, triggered by an emotionally arousing experience, produces memory enhancements of details related to the emotion laden stimulus, at the cost of less elaboration and consolidation of memory for the peripheral details.
Emotion and elaboration[ edit ] The processes involved in this enhancement may be distinct from those mediating the enhanced memory for arousing items. It has been suggested that in contrast to the relatively automatic attentional modulation of memory for arousing information, memory for non-arousing positive or negative stimuli may benefit instead from conscious encoding strategies, such as elaboration.
Autobiographical elaboration is known to benefit memory by creating links between the processed stimuli, and the self, for example, deciding whether a word would describe the personal self.
Memory formed through autobiographical elaboration is enhanced as compared to items processed for meaning, but not in relation to the self. Studies have shown that dividing attention at encoding decreases an individual's ability to utilize controlled encoding processes, such as autobiographical or semantic elaboration.
Thus, findings that participants' memory for negative non-arousing words suffers with divided attention,  and that the memory advantage for negative, non-arousing words can be eliminated when participants encode items while simultaneously performing a secondary task,  has supported the elaborative processing hypothesis as the mechanism responsible for memory enhancement for negative non-arousing words.
Emotion and retrieval[ edit ] Retrieval is a process of reconstructing past experiences; this phenomenon of reconstruction is influenced by a number of different variables described below. Trade-off between details[ edit ] Kensinger  argues there are two trade-offs:Memories should be cherished.
remembered. and non taken for granted. The job of intimidation is a serious affair impacting the full universe and if non stopped it could be lay waste toing.
My memories of the yesteryear have affected my beliefs on strong-arming for the remainder of my life. The scientific research literature on memory is enormous. Yet until now no single book has focused on the complex interrelationships of memory and belief.
This book brings together eminent scholars from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature, and medicine to discuss such provocative issues as 'false memories,' in which people can . In such a case the old belief that was developed at the past impacted the way the man sees life!
This was just a simple example demonstrating how a single past event can affect the person's present life greatly. James Alcock's new book about belief is a masterpiece that explains how our minds work, how we form beliefs, and why they are so powerful.
It amounts to a course in . This book brings together eminent scholars from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature, and medicine to discuss such provocative issues as 'false memories,' in which people can develop vivid recollections of events that never happened; retrospective biases, in which memories of past experiences are influenced by one's current beliefs; and implicit memory, or the way in which nonconscious .
Memories can be distorted to fall in line with an attitude or belief. Here's one cool study that demonstrates that: attitudes and beliefs can affect the memories we form.