Running head: MOOD AND MEMORY
Effects of Mood State on Memory Recall
This study tested 51 participants to see how individualâ€™s present mood states affected their performance of a simple memory recall task. Researchers hypothesized that, if an individual reported a negative mood state, it would impair their ability to recall a simple set of words. To test this theory, participants were first given a positive and negative affect schedule questionnaire and asked to evaluate the condition of their current mood. Upon completing the questionnaire researchers presented subjects with a slide show that exhibited ...view middle of the document...
(MacQueen et, al., 2002). In another study, researcher John Sesta discovered that, individuals diagnosed with depression had more difficulty recalling visual-spatial information than individuals not diagnosed with depression. (Sesta, 1993). In concordance with these cases, it is questioning as to what the effects of overall, positive and negative mood states may have on memory. This study aims at investigating the effects of mood states on memory recall in college students. Specifically, researcher in this study hypothesizes that; a negative mood state will impair an individualâ€™s ability to recall a simple set of test words.
The participants in this study consisted of college students, who were recruited to test the effects of mood and memory. The students were conveniently sampled at two colleges, Chapman University and Saddleback College. The sample yielded a total of 51 participants, (21male and 30 female). Subjects were required to be at least 18 years old to participate in the study. The mean age of the sample was 20.73 yrs, with a standard deviation of 2.33yrs and a range of 18 to 25 yrs.
Materials and Measures
The study used the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule to assess participantsâ€™ moods. (Watson, Clark, and Tellegen, 1998). The PANAS questionnaire is a Likert based assessment scale that evaluates an individualsâ€™ mood based on their correspondence to twenty mood related characteristics. Ten of the characteristics depict positive mood traits and ten describe negative mood traits.
The other application that was used was a slideshow. The slide show was designed using a power point program, and consisted of 15 slides. Slides were shown for a duration of three seconds. Each slide presented a basic word, written in black letters, against a blank white background. The following words were presented: carriage, certain, box, doorknob, egg, jungle, wool, purse, January, rapid, scene, water, rose, zipper, rest.
Researchers initially contacted participants at school either before or after class, and briefly explained the study to their fellow students. If the students were interested in participating researchers gave them an informed consent document, which was required to be signed by participants before beginning the study.
After consenting to the study, researchers gave participants the PANAS questionnaire and instructed students to evaluate and score their present mood states. After completing the questionnaire subjects were told that they would now be shown a simple slide show consisting of fifteen simple words. Participants were instructed to focus on the slide show and to record as many words as they could recall as soon as the show ended. Participants were given a pen and blank paper to record their responses. The researchers ended the experiment by debriefing the participants of any questions or concerns, and thanking them for their time.