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TEMPLATE DESIGN © 2008 www.PosterPresentations.com Mood dependent memory and the conditions under which it occurs. Melissa Daly, & Dr. Howard Smith, Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin. BACKGROUND. METHODRESULTS The present study investigated Mood dependent memory for self-generated words using a Musical mood induction procedure. Mood dependent memory refers to the phenomenon where an individual has better memory for information learned in a particular mood when this mood is later reinstated (Bower & Forgas, 2000). Mood dependent memory is supported by the associative network theory (Bower, 1981) and has been argued to play a causal role in memory disturbances associated with many clinical disorders (Bower, 1994). Despite a large number of null findings, the huge implications that demonstrating this effect would have for cognitive and clinical research lead researchers to continue to search for the conditions necessary for mood dependent memory to occur (Eich, 1995). Design: A 2 (mood at learning: Happy, Sad) x 2 (mood at testing: Happy, Sad) between subjects design with an independent control group without mood manipulation was used. Participants’ memory for self-generated words was measured. Participants: 75 (50 female, 25 male) psychology students (n=53) and members of the public (n=22) participated and were between 18 and 45 years of age (mean age=24.7). Strong, stable moods Self generated target words Memory Tested using Free Recall MOOD DEPENDENT MEMORY Figure 1: Conditions under which Mood Dependent Memory has been shown to occur. AIMS It was hypothesised that a mood dependent effect would occur in the presence of the conditions outlined in Figure 1. It was predicted that: (a)Participants whose moods at learning and testing matched would remember more words than participants whose moods did not match. (b)The greater the discrepancy between mood at learning and testing, the fewer words that would be remembered (c)The stronger and more stable the mood, the greater the mood dependent effect would be. Testing session 1: Participants were induced into a happy or sad mood. Word Generation: Participants generated 16 words in a word association task Testing session 2: Two days later participants were induced into the same or opposite mood Free Recall: Participants’ memory for 16 words was tested using a free-recall task. Procedure: RESULTS One-way between subjects ANOVA revealed no significant differences for mean words remembered between groups. A significant negative correlation between words remembered and the difference between mood at learning and testing was observed; r=.218, n=60, p<.05, one tailed. At learning, a significant positive correlation for words remembered and the degree of mood change (from before to after mood induction) was observed; r=+.294, n=60, p<.05, one tailed. At testing, a positive correlation for words remembered and mood change did not prove to be statistically significant; r=+.002, n=60, p>.05, one tailed. As illustrated in Figure 2., mood declined significantly after free recall; F (3, 181)=9.82, p<.01, n2=.15. No other significant differences in mood were observed. Figure 2: Mean mood scores for participants in each mood group. DISCUSSION Results did not support overall hypothesis: participants whose moods matched did not remember more words than participants whose moods did not match. Providing moderate support for the associative network theory, a greater discrepancy between mood at learning and testing predicted a lower rate of recall. As stronger mood predicted a higher rate of recall at learning but not at testing, it could be inferred that strong and stable moods are only required at learning. Further research is needed. A significant decline in mood after free recall meant that mood did not remain stable for the duration of the experiment. In light of this, the absence of a mood dependent effect may be due to a failure to satisfy all three conditions outlined by previous research. Future research should focus on the nature of the recall task used in order to improve mood stability. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I’d like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Howard Smith for his invaluable help and guidance throughout the completion of this project. I’d also like to thank all those who gave up their time to participate, and my family and friends for their advice and support over the last few months.
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