Date of Award
Many researchers have studied the impact of mood on various cognitive processes, but few have analyzed how it affects source memory and internal-external reality monitoring processes. Numerous findings indicate that sad moods are likely to yield more accurate memory than happy moods due to different information processing techniques, suggesting that sad mood could improve source memory and reality monitoring as well. After being induced into either a happy or sad mood, participants were presented with a list of 30 noun-verb-noun phrases in which the second noun was either generated for them by the computer or they were asked to fill it in themselves. They were then given the first noun from each phrase and asked to fill in the correct second noun it was previously paired with before making a source judgement about whether it was originally self-generated or computer-generated. Results indicated a main effect of mood where happy mood yielded slightly better memory than the negative mood and a main effect of memory type where reality monitoring scores exceeded those of item memory. Some research on how happy mood enhances cognitive processes can explain these findings and self-generation effects help explain why reality monitoring scores were higher than item memory scores. Overall, happy mood was found to moderately enhance memory accuracy, but further research is still necessary to determine how it affects internal-external reality monitoring.
Greenberg, Rebecca Lynn, "A Moody Memory: The Impact of Affective State on Source Memory and Reality Monitoring" (2022). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 627.