Influence of Emotions on Memory and Attention for Details

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A feature of serial location, emotional valence, and essential word is the output of memory. Emotions cause memory enhancements in most situations, and as such, emotional salience fosters improvements in memory. In order to be able to recall and pay attention to something, cultural values about colors play a central role (Kuhbandner & Pekrun, 2013). Red colors evoke the fear of failure in some cultures, so an individual’s attention to information may be impaired, while blue can improve emotional memory despite not being prominent in both colors. As such, blue colors characterize positive feelings while red characterize negative feelings hence an effect on memory and attention for details (Kuhbandner & Pekrun, 2013) Furthermore, emotionally valenced words improve source memory. Semantic clustering effects explain such effect on emotions in relation to memory as well as attention to details (Doerksen & Shimamura, 2001). Notably, many individuals often remember emotionally charged events more than other activities that do not trigger emotions. In most cases, it is the emotions from a particular issue that make one remember and pay attention to something rather than its significance. The issues or events may be pleasant or unpleasant. Pleasant experiences fade faster than unpleasant ones. There is also a relationship between moods and emotions, and as such, remembering becomes easier when the two match and the stronger the emotion that an individual evokes, the greater the effect on his/her memory.
The state of emotion influences both the content of consciousness and performance of tasks requiring a high level of concentration. For instance, emotional stimuli that evoke fear capture attention than that does not. Essentially, a negative emotional context increases memory for central details while weakening memory for peripheral information.

Doerksen, S., & Shimamura, A. P. (2001). Source memory enhancement for emotional words. Emotion, 1(1), 5.
Kuhbandner, C., & Pekrun, R. (2013). Joint effects of emotion and color on memory. Emotion, 13(3), 375.

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