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The Effects of Mood State Manipulations on Autobiographical Memory

Nurhan Er, Evren Hoşrik, Handan Ergün, Moustafa Şerif
2008; 23(62):1-13

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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between mood congruency and autobiographical memory. The research question was whether the characteristics of autobiographical memories vary according to the induced mood and whether these characteristics were different for mood induced participants and the control group participants. Three experimental designs were performed for answering the research questions. These three designs differed from each other on the tools used for mood induction. In the first experiment, photographs were used for inducing mood. In the second experiment, music was used as a tool for mood induction. The last experiment included both photographs and music at the same time for mood induction. The effectiveness of mood induction procedures were evaluated by Mood State Adjective Pairs List (MSAPL; Er, 2006). In each experiment, participants were asked to check the corresponding mood state and their levels on MSAPL before and after the induction. Then they were asked to write down an autobiographical memory which comes to their mind and is important for them. After this, participants evaluated their autobiographical memories on Autobiographical Memory Characteristics Scale (AMCS). According to results, autobiographical memories were found to be effected by mood state congruency. This effect varied as a function of used material. The ratios showed that mood-congruent autobiographical memories had higher rate for negative mood induced group. Autobiographical memory scores for the place of the event, spontaneous encoding of the event, touching, smell and emotional details had higher in the group which were presented with music and photographs at the same time as compared to other groups. In addition, using only music was more effective creating mood-congruent memories as compared to using only photographs. Therefore mood congruency effect seems to change according to the mood induction material. In addition, more negative memories were recalled in negative mood induction group as compared to positive memories in positive mood induction group.

Keywords: Autobiographical memory, mood congruency effect