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What Is Mood Congruent Memory In Psychology

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Mood Congruent Memory Bias

What is Mood-congruent memory bias? [Definition and Example] – Understanding Cognitive Biases

Mood congruent memory bias is the tendency to more easily remember events that have a congruence with one’s current mood. For instance, it is a holiday and you are feeling happy and relaxed. That mood by itself can evoke other memories of holidays, fun times, family get-togethers, etc… Anything that shares the current mood. Likewise, something bad happens in your life. This brings up similar bad memories of negative events and can plunge a person into a spiral of despair. Although the actual process behind this is not well understood, it is very common.

Encoding Specificity Hypothesis Within Emotion And Memory

Theories emerging from studies of memory highlight interesting points when considering emotion and memory. The Encoding Specificity Hypothesis was introduced by Tulving and Osler with relation to a study of the role of cues in memory and recall.

In their studies, participants were presented with target words in capital letters and in amongst those words were either none, one or two weakly associated words written in lowercase. Participants were advised the words in lower case may help them to remember the words in capital letters.

The results were that one weak associate helped participants recall of the target word as long as the weak associate was presented at the time of learning.

Such results suggest the encoding stage of memory is very important and cues or stimuli presented at that stage could have great influence during the later retrieval stage.

Memory, cognition and emotion interact with each other


These findings echo the suggestions of Bower through his Semantic Network Theory. If applying this theory to emotion and memory, it could be said that an emotion experienced at the encoding stage of experiencing stimuli, could be the associate link required to aid memory of such stimuli at the retrieval stage.

Internal Versus External Events

Internal events occur in the human mind. These occurrences of cognition are visible only to the person who experiences them. External events are physical occurrences experienced in a human’s environment, such as receiving a gift or encountering a friend. External events affect the mood of an individual depending on how he or she perceives the action. Some evidence suggests that internal events, such as imagination and reasoning, are less likely than external events to be remembered after a mood shift. Eich and Metcalfe conducted several experiments on this subject. Each experiment was composed of an encoding session and a retrieval session. Subjects were asked to describe their current mood, and then listened to classical music chosen to instigate either happiness or sadness. As they listened to the music, subjects again expressed how they were feeling to keep their minds working.

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Semantic Network Theory Interaction Of Emotions

In an attempt to explain the effects of MCM and MDM in emotion and memory research, Bower developed the Semantic Network Theory. This theory suggests that emotions are represented as nodes which interconnect with each other and produce outputs such as behaviour.

Activation of nodes can come from internal and external stimuli and transcends across the network via links between units. Bower claims some connections are inhibitory which means activation of one may suppress any activation in another.

The Semantic Network Theory model attempts to explain the effects of MCM and MDM in emotion and memory

PsychGeek adapted from Bower

According to Bower, Semantic Network Theory can provide explanation for how emotion and memory effects such as MDM are organised and function.

In the case of his laboratory studies, Semantic Network Theory would mean that when a word list is learned by a participant, connections are created between the appropriate emotion node and the memory representations of the word list items.

Due to activation in the network cascading through the various interconnections, a participant will be aided in recall of the word list due to such activation from the appropriate emotion node.

Emotions And Encoding Memory


Emotions are really important to how we encode or make a memory. Research shows that we are more likely to remember something if theres a strong emotion attached to it. It doesnt have to be negative, but we are programmed to pay more attention to negative stimuli . This is because you were more likely to live if you payed attention to a lion than a blueberry .

When you think about it, human beings are actually incredibly emotional creatures.

Think about how you feel when you see someone with a huge, silly grin on their face? If youre in a good place, youre likely to also start smiling we cant help it. We respond to emotional cues. Its why when you watch a sad film, if youre like me, you might start frowning or even crying at the really bad parts!

In the same way, our brain knows to encode an important memory with an emotion so we can retrieve it more easily later on. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the memory. Its why some memories can literally feel as real and raw as if they happened yesterday.

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Influence Of Emotion On Cognition And Memory

Such evidence from the study of memory provides more depth to the debate of the influence in which emotion has over cognitive processes.

It is clear that in the case of memory, emotion is a very powerful tool. Mood Congruent Memory and Mood Dependent Memory are both effects which potentially show the power in which emotion has over memory and the size of its role within memory.

MDM has proved to be more complex in that in order for it to occur, stimuli requires to have some distinctive qualities. However, its presence has been found in numerous laboratory and clinical studies suggesting that as research continues, its existence may become as accepted as MCM.

Bowers Semantic Network Theory mirrors the finds of Tulving and Osler’s memory cue studies and when taken together, they provide a solid and stable foundation for the powerful role of emotion and its influence over the cognitive processes of memory.

  • Visual perception in psychology enables us to make sense of the world around us. Human eyes are remarkable structures, taking in visual information to be translated into meaning within the brain.

Age Group Differences In Mood

Contradictory to Hypothesis 2, which predicted that older adults have a higher likelihood of perceiving positive emotions in facial expressions when being in a bad mood , a mood-congruency effect was primarily shown by older adults. Other than younger adults , older adults exhibited a significantly higher probability of perceiving happiness, when being in a good mood . Figure 2 provides a graphical illustration of the model-predicted probabilities of perceiving an additional happy emotional expression in faces for younger and older adults with maximally high vs. low levels of positive mood. As compared to the baseline, higher levels of positive mood in older adults also increased the likelihood of perceiving disgust and sadness . In contrast, positive mood in older adults decreased the likelihood of perceiving neutrality . Although the results were somewhat mixed, the pronounced mood-congruency effect for older adults in the perception of happiness speaks against Hypothesis 2. See Table 1, Part C, for details. The effect for negative mood further bolstered the rejection of Hypothesis 2: Higher levels of negative mood in older adults the probability of perceiving happiness , while no such decrease was found for younger adults . These results are illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 2. Predicted probability of perceiving an additional happy emotional expression in faces for younger and older adults with maximally high vs. maximally low levels of positive mood.

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What Does Automatic Processing Mean In Psychology

Automatic information processing refers to a mental cognitive process with the following characteristics: it is fast, parallel, efficient, requires little cognitive effort, and does not require active control or attention by the subject. This type of processing is the result of repetitive training on the same task.

What Are Retrieval Cues Examples


A Retrieval Cue is a prompt that help us remember. When we make a new memory, we include certain information about the situation that act as triggers to access the memory. For example, when someone is introduced to us at a party, we don’t only store the name and appearance of the new acquaintance in our memory.

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The Role Of The Temporal Sequence In Emotion Processing

The probability of perceiving an additional emotional expression decreased not only across study sessions, but also within each study session . While the decrease was somewhat lower and non-significant for the perception of neutrality , it was significant for all other emotions . At the descriptive level, the downward trend in the likelihood of reporting an emotional expression, other than neutrality, was slightly weakened for participants in a positive mood, but none of the effects was significant at a 0.01 alpha level. Likewise, there were no three-way interactions with negative mood . Given the non-significant interaction of positive mood with stimulus number and negative mood with stimulus number, respectively, along with the uniform downward trend in the likelihood of perceiving an additional emotional expression, there was little evidence for a shift from mood-congruent to mood-incongruent information processing as a function of elapsed processing time in the present study. Thus, Hypothesis 3 was rejected.

How Can Mood Congruent Memory Be Used To Your Advantage


Mood congruent memory can be used to your advantage by putting positive triggers in front of you. For example, you have an exam tomorrow and you are losing your shit, dig deep into your memory and find a trigger that can be placed to motivate you. I have this keyboard that I always use for my assignments for University because it gives me a positive trigger as it is my companion since day one of my content writing journeys. It makes the air positive around me.

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Theory Of Categorical Conception

In opposition to the conundrum of the valence theories of mood-congruence, proponents such as Paula Niedenthal propose a theory of categorical conception. The theory of categorical conception argues that mood-congruence of current affective states and memory recall are subject to attentional strengths and deficits in category matching. Instead of all emotions being either negative or positive, as represented in the theory of valence, emotions are seen as distinct categories. The theory of categorical conception assumes that an individual’s current affective state determines what they pay attention to. The attention can be implicitly or explicitly encoded. For instance, if an individual is sad, they will pay more attention to the aspects of their environment that are congruent with sadness such as melancholy or dreary weather. Therefore, if someone is frequently depressed, they are more likely to pay attention to representations of their depression and create a larger memory repertoire of depressed memories than happy memories. Being that the person has a higher number of encoded memories that have negative or sad connotations, they are then more likely to experience a higher level of mood congruent memories than more happy memories.

Classification Helps Differentiate Psychotic Episodes

Mood Congruent Memory (Definition + Examples)

Mood incongruence is a term used to describe a serious symptom of bipolar disorder. It is a psychotic feature of the disorder wherein the person’s belief or action, whether by hallucination or delusion, does not match with their mood.

While the difference between mood congruence and incongruence may seem of little consequence given that they both related to a psychotic episode, the way in which each impacts a person’s ability to function and thrive can be strikingly different.

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What Is Mood Congruent Affect


. Also, what is congruent affect?

Congruent affect means that a person’s emotions are appropriate for the situation, while incongruent affect means that the emotions are not appropriate. He is listening to the patient and assessing the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Also Know, what is the difference between mood congruent and mood incongruent? Mood congruence. Mood congruence is the consistency between a person’s emotional state with the broader situations and circumstances being experienced by the persons at that time. By contrast, mood incongruence occurs when the individual’s reactions or emotional state appear to be in conflict with the situation.

Then, what is mood and affect?

AFFECT AND MOODMood is the underlying feeling state. Affect is described by such terms as constricted, normal range, appropriate to context, flat, and shallow. Mood refers to the feeling tone and is described by such terms as anxious, depressed, dysphoric, euphoric, angry, and irritable.

What is an example of mood congruent memory?

Mood Congruent Memory occurs when your current mood usually cues memories that mirror that mood. For example, if you’re very sad, you tend to start thinking about depressing things that have happened in your life, or if you’re happy, you start to recall other happy things.

How To Stop Memories From Controlling Your Emotions

Make them stop!

The answer is simple, identify the triggers. In my earlier example, the book is the trigger that reminds me of her as it was very sacred to us both. I have put that book away from myself, in the basement of my house and I dont see it very often but as it is a popular book thus it pops up on the internet and the atmosphere around me turn depressing when this happens but you have to hide these triggers from yourself as I did.

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Is Divided Attention Possible

Divided attention is a cognitive ability that is very important in our daily lives because it makes it possible to carry out tasks quickly and efficiently. Correctly carrying out tasks implies more than one perceptive, motor, or cognitive activity at the same time depends directly on our divided attention.

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What Is Positive Mood

Brain Tricks to Fight | Psychology Memory facts | Mood Congruence Effect

Positive mood can be happened by many variance perceptive of being as well as have positive influences on persons as a including everything.

Good mood is normally deemed a state without an known or established motive, persons cannot meticulously precise indicating exactness of why they are in a good mood.

Persons assume to live through a positive mood when they have a clear designate, have had a good sleep of night, and experience no sense of emotional tension in their living.

Characteristically, a positive mood may move ahead to very positive confidence of fulfillment concerning cause trait of deserving trust and confidence or easy to like agreeable than a negative mood.

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Can You Control Your Congruent Memory

Controlling memory

The answer for the majority of the people is a no. There are people in this world who have mastered it but it takes a lot of effort to do it. There are these things that remind you of good or bad memories. we as humans have this tendency to link the past with the things we do or see in the present. For example, I have this book and I absolutely love it but whenever I see it, it reminds me of the person in my life who couldnt be mine and we were madly in love. Then my whole mood changes but can I stop doing that and do you think I never tried forgetting that this book is associated with her. Yes, I did but, I failed. It is not easy training your brain because the majority of humans are so busy using their brains for other things that they have lost the ability to tame it.

Limitations And Future Directions

We believe the general downward trend in the likelihood of reporting an emotional expression is likely due to participant’s increasing fatigue and decreasing motivation. However, it is a shortcoming of the present study that these factors were not assessed in self-report, thus this belief remains speculative. Although we statistically controlled for the downward trend, the remaining variability in mood and emotion perception may have been too small to allow for additional mood regulation effects by means of emotion perception. After all, if an individual’s mood is already perfectly adjusted to the situation at handor if fatigue effects are very strongthere is little room for additional regulation via mood-incongruent information processing.

This may be viewed as a shortcoming of the present study. However, it also shows that while natural mood is likely to affect the perception of emotions in faces, a possible mood-regulatory effect of such perception seems negligible. In fact, we found that in particular for older adults, positive mood may rather increase the likelihood of perceiving positively valenced facial expressions.

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Mood Congruence Versus Mood Dependence

There is a definitive difference in mood congruence and mood dependence. Lewis and Critchley discuss the difference in these memory effects. Mood congruence is when one can match an emotion to a specific memory. Mood dependence, on the other hand, is the sorting of memory when mood at retrieval is the same as encoding. After using others’ research, Lewis and Critchley came to the conclusion that there is neural basis for the influence of mood at encoding and that this influence at the base relates to activity of emotion specific regions of the brain. One model they propose is the semantic network approach, which suggests that ’emotion-specific memory nodes connect many related aspects of an emotion, such as autonomic responses, expressive behaviours, and description of situations that might evoke the emotion’. Within this model, two assumptions may be made: remembering certain information while in a specific mood leads to responsiveness in the emotional system that corresponds to that particular mood and mood at retrieval influences ones’ emotions. This relates to mood-dependent memory because it may suggest that ones’ mood at encoding could become associated with neutral information. It may also imply the activity of emotions, triggered by mood at retrieval, could propagate to the nodes with the same mood at encoding.

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