Thursday, March 31, 2011
Good Mood = Bad Memory, Mizzou Study Says
By Nicholas Phillips
on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM
According to a study
done by doctoral student Elizabeth Martin
at the University of Missouri - Columbia
, being in a good mood hampers your ability to remember things in the moment (technically called your "working memory storage capacity").
Martin tested it by showing people videos. Some were shown clips from Jerry Seinfeld's I'm Telling You for the Last Time
. Others were shown a video on how to install flooring. Guess which people were in good moods afterward.
Then the subjects were told to memorize and recite back a sequence of numbers. The people who'd just yukked it up over Seinfeld performed significantly worse.
Curmudgeons might find solace in this. But if the inverse is also true -- that people who aren't in great moods can remember things better -- isn't that swell? Now you can remember all the minute details of your miserable lives. Yaaaaay.
Next time you're annoyed/jealous at how chipper someone is, here's some silent revenge: at least at that moment, their "working memory" isn't as good as yours.