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Memory Narrowing and Thematic Arousal: The Effect of Negative Emotion on Memory for Event Details

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Date Issued:
2007
Summary:
Laney, Campbell, Heuer, and Reisberg (2004) proposed that the preferential recall of central relative to peripheral information in a negative event (known as "memory narrowing") is the product of presenting participants with a visually arousing attention magnet -- not negative emotion, as the Easterbrook ( 1959) hypothesis suggests. Laney et al. used conceptually meaningful (or thematically arousing) events to stimulate an emotional response in participants instead of visual arousal and found evidence that negative arousal improves memory for all categories of details. The current study tested Laney et al. 's theory that a visually arousing stimulus, rather than negative arousal, is responsible for memory nan·owing as well as their position that negative arousal benefits recall of both central and peripheral information. Support was found for both assertions of Laney et al. The presence of a visually salient and emotionally provoking detail produced an effect similar to the traditional memory narrowing pattem and exposure to the negative thematic climax resulted in improved memory performance for all the detail categories. However, this latter effect was observed only for the female participants. No evidence was found to support the Easterbrook hypothesis.
Title: Memory Narrowing and Thematic Arousal: The Effect of Negative Emotion on Memory for Event Details.
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Name(s): Curtayne, Eileen, author
Kersten, Alan, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2007
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 207 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Laney, Campbell, Heuer, and Reisberg (2004) proposed that the preferential recall of central relative to peripheral information in a negative event (known as "memory narrowing") is the product of presenting participants with a visually arousing attention magnet -- not negative emotion, as the Easterbrook ( 1959) hypothesis suggests. Laney et al. used conceptually meaningful (or thematically arousing) events to stimulate an emotional response in participants instead of visual arousal and found evidence that negative arousal improves memory for all categories of details. The current study tested Laney et al. 's theory that a visually arousing stimulus, rather than negative arousal, is responsible for memory nan·owing as well as their position that negative arousal benefits recall of both central and peripheral information. Support was found for both assertions of Laney et al. The presence of a visually salient and emotionally provoking detail produced an effect similar to the traditional memory narrowing pattem and exposure to the negative thematic climax resulted in improved memory performance for all the detail categories. However, this latter effect was observed only for the female participants. No evidence was found to support the Easterbrook hypothesis.
Identifier: FA00000850 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2007.
Subject(s): Eyewitness identification--Psychological aspects
Memory--Research
Cognitive neuroscience
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00000850
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Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.