This study examined the effects of positive affect on working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Given that WM involves both storage and controlled processing and that STM primarily involves storage processing, we hypothesised that if positive affect facilitates controlled processing, it should improve WM more than STM. The results demonstrated that positive affect, compared with neutral affect, significantly enhanced WM, as measured by the operation span task. The influence of positive affect on STM, however, was weaker. These results suggest that positive affect enhances WM, a task that involves controlled processing, not just storage processing. Additional analyses of recall and processing times and accuracy further suggest that improved WM under positive affect is not attributable to motivational differences, but results instead from improved controlled cognitive processing.
positive affect, controlled processes, working memory, short-term memory, inhibitory control
Cognition and Perception | Psychology
Cognition and Emotion
Taylor and Francis
YANG, Hwajin, YANG, Sujin, & ISEN, Alice M..(2013). Positive Affect Improves Working Memory: Implications for Controlled Cognitive Processing. Cognition and Emotion, 27(3), 474-482.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1131
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