Psychologists have known for a while that context is important to remembering. If you leave the place where a memory was made – its context – it will be harder for you to recall the memory. Previous studies had also found that thinking about something else – daydreaming or mind-wandering – blocks access to memories of the recent past.
Psychological scientists Peter F. Delaney and Lili Sahakyan of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Colleen M. Kelley and Carissa A. Zimmerman of Florida State University wanted to know if the content of your daydreams affects your ability to access a recently-acquired memory.
For one experiment, each participant looked at a list of words as they appeared on a computer screen, one at a time. Then they were told to think either about home – where they'd been that morning – or about their parents' house – where they hadn't been in several weeks. Next, the participant was shown a second list of words. At the end of the test, they had to recall as many of the words from the two lists as possible. Participants who had thought about the place they'd been only a few hours before remembered more of the words from the first list than did participants who had thought back several weeks. The same was true for memories about place, tested in a second experiment. Those who thought about a vacation within the U.S. remembered more words than those who thought about a vacation abroad. The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
One practical application of the research might be for people who want to forget about something. "If there's something you don't feel like thinking about, you're better off remembering a more distant event than a close event, to try to put it out of your mind for a while," says Delaney. "It can help you feel like you're in a different situation."
For more information about this study, please contact: Peter Delaney, firstname.lastname@example.org
Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. For a copy of the article "Remembering to Forget: The Amnesic Effect of Daydreaming " and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Keri Chiodo at 202-293-9300 or email@example.com
Keri Chiodo | EurekAlert!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine