Research: Good Moods Cause Memory Issues

Research: Good Moods Cause Memory Issues
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 3:02pm

COLUMBIA, MO— A new study is now implying that the better a person's mood is, the worse their memory capacity is.

A University of Missouri researcher found that forgetfulness may have something to do with being in a good mood. The research by a doctoral student of psychology suggests that being in a good mood decreases a person's working memory capacity.

“Working memory, for example, is the ability to recall items in a conversation as you're having it,” said Elizabeth Martin, the person behind the study. “This explains why you might not be able to remember a phone number you get at a party when you're having a good time.”

Martin also said the research was the first to show that positive mood can negatively impact working memory storage capacity.

Researchers measured the mood of study participants before and after showing them a video clip. Some participants were shown a segment of a stand-up comedy routine, and others were shown an instructional video on how to install flooring.

After the videos, those that watched the comedy routine were in better moods compared to those shown the other videos. Participants were then given a memory test, and the results showed that those in happier moods performed worse on the task.

Martin argues that being in a good mood is not a bad thing, and even added that a good mood increases creative problem-solving skills “and other aspects of thinking.”   

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