Negative memories generally fade faster than positive memories of similar emotional importance and encoding period. This difference in retention period and vividness for positive memories is known as the fading affect bias. In addition, coping mechanisms in the mind are activated in response to a negative event, which minimizes the stress and negative events experienced.
While it seems adaptive to have negative memories fade faster, sometimes it may not be the case. Remembering negative events can prevent us from acting overconfident or repeating the same mistake, and we can learn from them in order to make better decisions in the future.
However, increased remembering of negative memories can lead to the development of maladaptive conditions. The effect of mood-congruent memory, wherein the mood of an individual can influence the mood of the memories they recall, is a key factor in the development of depressive symptoms for conditions such as dysphoria or major depressive disorder.
Dysphoria// Individuals with mild to moderate Dysphoria show an abnormal trend of the fading affect bias. The negative memories of dysphoric individuals did not fade as quickly relative to control groups, and positive memories faded slightly faster. In severely dysphoric individuals the fading affect bias was exacerbated; negative memories faded more slowly and positive memories faded more quickly than non-dysphoria individuals.
Unfortunately, this effect is not well understood. One possible explanation suggests that, in relation to mood-congruent memory theory, the mood of the individual at the time of recall rather than the time of encoding has a stronger effect on the longevity of negative memories. If this is the case, further studies should hopefully show that changes in mood state will produce changes in the strength of the fading affect bias.
Depression// Depression impacts the retrieval of autobiographical memories. Adolescents with depression tend to rate their memories as more accurate and vivid than never-depressed adolescents, and the content of recollection is different.
Individuals with depression encounter trouble remembering specific personal past events, and instead recall more general events (repeated or recurring events). Specific memory recall can further be inhibited by significant psychological trauma occurring in comorbidity. When a specific episodic memory is recalled by an individual with depression, details for the event are almost non-existent and instead purely semantic knowledge is reported.
The lack of remembered detail especially affects positive memories; generally people remember positive events with more detail than negative events, but the reverse is seen in those with depression. Negative memories will seem more complex and the time of occurrence will be more easily remembered than positive and neutral events. This may be explained by mood congruence theory, as depressed individuals remember negatively charged memories during frequent negative moods. Depressed adults also tend to actively rehearse negative memories, which increases their retention period and vividness.
Another explanation may be the tendency for individuals suffering from depression to separate themselves from their positive memories, and focus more on evidence that supports their current negative self-image in order to keep it intact. Depressed adults also recall positive memories from an observer perspective rather than a field perspective, where they appear as a spectator rather than a participant in their own memory.
Finally., the autobiographical memory differences may be attributed to a smaller posterior hippocampal volume in any individuals going through cumulative stress.
Other articles related to "negative":
... the expected value of any individual bet is negative, so the sum of lots of negative numbers is also always going to be negative ...
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... opinions and use of words with strong positive or negative connotations (e.g ... terrorist as negative and freedom fighter as positive) ... idiom is "all things to all people", which is often used as a negative term in politics ...
... Perhaps Hocking's most important contribution to philosophy is "negative pragmatism," which means that what "works" pragmatically might or might not ... they present, but they do not denigrate negative pragmatism ... in any criterion is to invoke negative pragmatism ...
... Negative sign, the passive or feminine signs of the zodiac in astrology Negative space, in art, the space around or between elements of the subject Negative (policy debate) (NEG), the team which ...
Famous quotes containing the word negative:
“For those parents from lower-class and minority communities ... [who] have had minimal experience in negotiating dominant, external institutions or have had negative and hostile contact with social service agencies, their initial approaches to the school are often overwhelming and difficult. Not only does the school feel like an alien environment with incomprehensible norms and structures, but the families often do not feel entitled to make demands or force disagreements.”
—Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (20th century)
“Coming out, all the way out, is offered more and more as the political solution to our oppression. The argument goes that, if people could see just how many of us there are, some in very important places, the negative stereotype would vanish overnight. ...It is far more realistic to suppose that, if the tenth of the population that is gay became visible tomorrow, the panic of the majority of people would inspire repressive legislation of a sort that would shock even the pessimists among us.”
—Jane Rule (b. 1931)
“Mothers often are too easily intimidated by their childrens negative reactions...When the child cries or is unhappy, the mother reads this as meaning that she is a failure. This is why it is so important for a mother to know...that the process of growing up involves by definition things that her child is not going to like. Her job is not to create a bed of roses, but to help him learn how to pick his way through the thorns.”
—Elaine Heffner (20th century)