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Memory outcomes flavor affect

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

It appears that failing to remember something about an item renders it less pleasant. Conversely, successfully retrieving episodic information about an item increases its perceived pleasantness.



David Grybinas published his honors thesis work in the lab demonstrating that memory outcomes appear to elicit subtle emotional responses to retrieval cues. It appears that folks don't like to conclude (correctly or incorrectly) that recognition probes are new. Conversely, there seems to be a little positive emotional response that occurs when they conclude (correctly) that a probe is recognized. We are current testing a Confirmation of Search (COS) model that assumes that positive emotional responses follow successful/confirmed memory searches and negative emotional responses follow failed memory searches. These are missattributed by the subject to the memory probes. There also appear to be more subtle effects of accuracy such that rated pleasantness is higher when correct versus erroneous and these may be linked to differences in effort.


Grybinas, D., Kantner, J., & Dobbins, I. G. (2019). Mere exposure effect (s) in the context of explicit memory search. Memory & cognition, 1-14.

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