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Advances in Psychological Science    2012, Vol. 20 Issue (9) : 1411-1418     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2012.0001411
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The Elderly’s Positivity Effect in Emotional Memory and Its Underlying Mechanisms
GONG Xian-Min,WANG Da-Hua
Institute of Development Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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Abstract  Piles of researches about emotion and memory have verified in elderly’s memory the existence of positivity effect, thus the elderly usually remember positive stimuli better than negative ones. Socioemotional Selectivity Theory, a theory focusing on behavioral motivation, proposes that the elderly’s more inclining to adopt emotion regulation strategies in memory tasks makes them possessing a tendency to process positive information better. While such a tendency comes true only if certain conditions are fulfilled. The emotion regulation may impose its influence on the elderly’s memory through several pathways at least, such as attention selection, distribution of cognitive resources, depressing negative emotion, cognitive reappraisal, etc., and finally facilitates positivity effect. When it comes to future researches, among quite a lot of unsolved enigmas in the domain of the elderly’s emotion and memory, several fundamental puzzles should be paid enough attention on, including how each dimension of emotion and each kind of emotion regulation strategies affect the several memory stages of the elderly of varied ages.
Keywords aging      emotional memory      positivity effect/bias      emotion regulation      Socioemotional Selectivity Theory     
Corresponding Authors: WANG Da-Hua   
Issue Date: 15 September 2012
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GONG Xian-Min,WANG Da-Hua. The Elderly’s Positivity Effect in Emotional Memory and Its Underlying Mechanisms[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2012, 20(9): 1411-1418.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1042.2012.0001411     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlkxjz/EN/Y2012/V20/I9/1411
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