Study finds anxiety to help with memory…

A study from the University of Waterloo investigated whether anxious individuals, who adopted an inherently negative mindset, could demonstrate a particularly salient memory bias for words tainted by negative contexts.

The study population of eighty (sixty-four females) undergraduate students found that manageable levels of anxiety (all participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales) actually aided participants in being able to recall the details of events. It was also identified that when anxiety levels became too high or descended into fear, it could lead to the colouring of memories where people begin to associate otherwise neutral elements of an experience to the negative context. An additional discover was made in that individuals high in anxiety showed a heightened sensitivity to the influences of emotional context on their memory, with neutral information becoming tainted, or coloured by the emotion with which it was associated during encoding.

Link to PDF: AnxietyForMemory

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