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Effects of attentional bias for positive emotion on associative memory in old adults

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2018, 31(1), pp.51-70
  • DOI : 10.35574/KJDP.2018.03.31.1.51
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science
  • Received : January 15, 2018
  • Accepted : March 5, 2018

Bo-Ra Yeon 1 So-Yeon Kim 1

1덕성여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Positivity effect, which is a bias toward positive information rather than negative, appears during old age. Prior studies have demonstrated positivity effects in the initial attention process by presenting positive stimuli with processing goals or clues and have studied the effect of those positivity effects on item memory. The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to investigate whether positivity effects are also found in attentional bias to distractors and 2) to study whether the attentional bias influences a subsequent associative memory task. Both young (aged 20-25 years) and older (aged 61-85 years) adults participated in this study. Older adults showed initial attentional capture effects to the positive distractor after four seconds, confirming the positivity effect in older adults. Further, older adults performed better on the association memory task for happy faces. In sum, this study demonstrated older adults' attentional bias toward positive emotional information by dividing the attention process into attention capture and holding for the first time. Moreover, we found a positivity effect in the subsequent associative memory through incidental learning.

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