Psychological Science 2018, (3) 540-545 DOI:     ISSN: 0412-1961 CN: 21-1139/TG

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Keywords
negative emotional intensity
recognition retrieval
recollection
familiarity
Authors
YU Bao-Xi
CHENG Chen
XIONG Sai-Ya
LI Fu-Hong
ZHANG Jing
XIANG Ling
PubMed
Article by Yu,B.X
Article by Cheng,c
Article by Xiong,S.Y
Article by Li,F.H
Article by Zhang,j
Article by Xiang,l

The Influence of Negative Emotional Intensity on Dual-processing Recognition Retrieval

Abstract

Dual-processing theory assumes that recognition memory involves two distinct memory processes, familiarity and recollection. Familiarity refers to a fast-acting retrieval process without the retrieval of any contextual details of the past event, whereas recollection involves the conscious retrieval of specific temporal and spatial information of past experiences. Emotional stimuli differ not only in respect to the valence polarity, but also in respect to emotional intensity. Although the effects of different negative emotional intensity on recognition memory have been investigated, it is unknown how different levels of negative emotional intensity influence familiarity and recollection. In the present study, we used modified “remember/know” paradigm to investigate how negative emotional intensity influences familiarity and recollection. In the study phase, subjects were instructed to learn the pictures of different levels of emotional intensity including neutral, highly negative (HN), moderate negative (MN), and low negative (LN). In the test phase, they made “remember/know/guess/new” recognition judgments towards stimuli intermixed with learnt and new pictures. According to attention narrowing hypothesis, negative valence leads individuals to focus attention on local details. We hypothesized that the negative item will engage more detail processing with the increase in the negative emotional intensity during encoding. In retrieval phase, individual memory more depends on recollection with the increase in the negative emotional intensity during encoding. The discrimination Pr was measured as the hit rate of old picture minus new picture. A repeated measures ANOVAs were performed with emotional intensity (LN, MN, HN and Neutral ) and item type (remember, know, guess) as factors. The results showed there was a significant difference among emotional intensity in the “remember” judgments, presenting the following pattern: HN > MN > LN > Neutral. As for the “remember” judgments, there was a significant difference among emotional intensity,presenting the following pattern: HN < MN < LN < Neutral. A repeated measures ANOVA on RT were performed with emotional intensity (LN, MN, HN and Neutral ) and item type (remember, know, guess, new) as factors. The results showed that the "remember" judgments were significantly faster than the "know" judgments. Moreover, there was a significant interaction effect between emotional intensity and item type. There was a significant difference among emotional intensity in the “remember” judgments, presenting the following pattern: HN < MN < Neutral and no significant difference between MN sand LN. There was a significant difference among emotional intensity in the “know” judgments, presenting the following pattern: HN < MN < LN < Neutral. These findings have further supported and developed attention narrowing hypothesis and suggests that negative emotional intensity influences recognition memory in two ways. One is that recollection-based retrieval increases with an increase in the magnitude of negative emotional value. The other is familiarity-based retrieval decreases with an increase in the magnitude of negative emotional value.

Keywords negative emotional intensity   recognition retrieval   recollection   familiarity  
Received 2017-09-03 Revised 2018-02-23 Online: 2018-05-20 
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Email: xiangling1997@126.com
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