A Relationship Between Mood and Memory

Faculty Sponsor

Geoff Wetherell


Arts and Sciences



Document Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


There has been research involving episodic and semantic memory that has shown a relationship between negative affect and improved episodic memory (Kensinger E. A. 2005). Additionally, there is a tendency for people to create more generalized episodic memories under positive affect compared to negative affect (Wessel, I., & Wright, D. B. 2004). To further investigate this relationship, we used the PANAS (Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. 1988) to measure participants’ current affect and gave them episodic and semantic memory tasks. We predicted that people who report more negative emotion will have better episodic recall than semantic recall, and people who report more positive emotion will show no difference between episodic and semantic memory. A 2 within (semantic vs. episodic memory) by continuous (affect) ANOVA test was run, and it was found that there was a significant main effect on type of memory, there was not a significant main effect on positive vs. negative affect as measured by the PANAS. There was not a significant interaction between memory and affect, however, due to the large effect size and small sample size. This study may show significant results with a larger sample size.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Inga Majewska is from Chicago, Illinois. She is majoring in biology and psychology and hopes to pursue a career in the field of neuropsychology. Inga enjoys collaborating with her peers and professors on projects, especially involving research, and she hopes to continue doing so beyond her undergraduate degree.

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