Negative Emotions and Memory

I have just read a study the negative emotional experiences actually enhance memory accuracy better than positive ones (Negative Emotion Enhances Memory Accuracy (Elizabeth A. Kensinger, Boston College).It is very interesting and makes a lot of sense. As a coach I have long realized that many of the issues we face come from things in the past that get triggered. I have also found that the negative triggers stay in play longer than the positive ones. Yet I believe there is more to the story.

We at the Cirrus Business Group do a good bit of work with personalities and personal styles.  All of our work and research of the many profiles has shown us that certain personalities and  styles are prone to be quite positive and optimistic while others always see the more pessimistic side of things.  Can this play into the equation?  We think so to a certain degree.

Even with negative triggers the more optimistic person may be able to recover and bounce back rather quickly.  In my life I have found that those with a more pessimistic nature dwell on that negative memory a lot longer making it into something it may not have been.  There is no doubt from the study that those with a negative memory remember is more accurately than the positive ones.  Yet our imaginations are very powerful so over time we may insert details that were not really there.

This is all fascinating to me and something to think about.  I have not yet seen a study comparing the accuracy of negative emotions and memories to personalities.  Just some thoughts a possibilities based on my years of experience with personalities and styles.  Until next time–Coach Judi

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