Effects of Emotional Context during Encoding: An Advantage for Negative Context in Immediate Recognition and Positive Context in Delayed Recognition


This study examined the effect of emotional context on recognition memory for neutral targets over time. Participants (N = 36) read sentences with negative, neutral, or positive valence in which emotionally neutral target words were embedded. Two groups of participants were asked to recognize targets after different retention intervals, immediate and 24-hour. Performance was better in the immediate recognition group than that in the delayed recognition group. The two groups showed opposite effects of emotional context: Target words in negative sentences were best remembered with immediate recognition but worst after a 24-hour delay. These results support the idea that emotional valence has different impacts on memory over time.

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Toyama, A. , Katsuhara, M. , Sakurai, Y. & Ohira, H. (2014). Effects of Emotional Context during Encoding: An Advantage for Negative Context in Immediate Recognition and Positive Context in Delayed Recognition. Psychology, 5, 994-1000. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.59111.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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