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14-02-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2021

Psychological Research 3/2021

Is internal source memory recognition modulated by emotional encoding contexts?

Psychological Research > Uitgave 3/2021
Diana R. Pereira, Adriana Sampaio, Ana P. Pinheiro
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00426-020-01294-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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The influence of emotion on memory has been mainly examined by manipulating the emotional valence and/or arousal of critical items. Few studies probed how emotional information presented during the encoding of critical neutral items modulates memory recognition, particularly when considering source memory features. In this study, we specified the role of emotional encoding contexts in internal source memory performance (discrimination between encoding tasks) using a mixed (Experiment 1) and a blocked design (Experiment 2). During the study phase, participants were required to evaluate a set of neutral words, using either a self-referential or a semantic (common judgment) encoding strategy. Prior and concomitantly with each word, negative, neutral or positive pictures were presented in the background. The beneficial effect of self-referential encoding was observed for both item and internal source memory in both experiments. Remarkably, item and internal source memory recognition was not modulated by emotion, even though a secondary analysis indicated that the consistent exposure to negative (vs. positive) information led to worse source memory performance. These findings suggest that internal source memory of neutral items is not always affected by changing or repetitive emotional encoding contexts.

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