Emotions and Memory

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Everyone has memories that they would like to forget. We also have problems remembering things that could have emotionally affected us. Some like to call this selective memory. We selectively decide to suppress a memory to a point where we do. Why do we select to suppress a memory? We suppress the memory because of an emotional attachment. We have three parts of memory. Sensory memory which is where our senses send our sounds/images to first and it stays there briefly or it is moved to our short term or just lost. In the short term memory, the information lasts up to 60 seconds or moved on to our long term memory which can last a lifetime. Therefore, emotions take a part on whether the information we receive becomes a long term memory.

In the article “Forgetting the Unforgotten Affective Autobiographical Memories in Nonclinical Dissociators” the researchers wanted to find out if a person scores high on the Dissociative Experience Scale (DES) if it will reduce the retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) or not. The same was for a person who scored low on the DES. 80 undergraduate participants were chosen; 40 male and 40 female. They had to score either between a 30 and 10 on the DES to qualify. All participants had to take two tests; the DES and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Short Form (CTQ-SF). Each participant had to recall 12 positive and 12 negative autobiographical memories which were collected two weeks before the study begun. (Chui-De Chiu, 2012)The researches chose 8 out of each type of autobiographical memories. In the beginning of the study, the participants were allowed to study all 16 memories chosen. Then they were only allowed to study 4 or each type. After the distraction phase, the participants were given a recall test to see what they remembered. Participants were asked to visit the lab individually and sign in. They were given two unrelated tasks; an autobiographical memory test and a computerized cognitive task which were held...
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