ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

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   

  1. Institute of Development Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2012-01-06 Online:2012-09-15 Published:2012-09-15
  • Contact: WANG Da-Hua

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.

Key words: aging, emotional memory, positivity effect/bias, emotion regulation, Socioemotional Selectivity Theory